Study Abroad in Nottingham Past Review

By (Comparative Literature and Chinese, SUNY - Binghamton) for

SUNY Binghamton: Nottingham - Exchange & Study Abroad Program at University of Nottingham

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Absolutely. Coming from five months in Taiwan, switching to the European culture was an enormous and interesting change. I met loads of people with different world views and seeing the world through new eyes was fascinating and edifying. My major really helped me to take a curious approach to the whole thing instead of getting emotionally involved in some aspects.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 1 month - 6 months
The term and year this program took place: Spring 2010

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

Perhaps we're spoon fed in the US, but I saw little reason to spend thousands a year on what the University of Nottingham provided. Professors were uninvolved with the students, barely facilitating any learning. They also had the look of defeat in their eyes, like they realized that their students were actively disinterested. There was no coursework most of the time, and so I had no idea what to expect for the final exams. The teachers basically throw a bunch of textbooks at you and leave you to it, something I could do without spending so much money on uninvolved professors.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

They were in touch quickly and were very responsive to questions. They provided plenty of activities for international students and kept us abreast of upcoming events.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I lived in Raleigh Park, Sillitoe Court. It was a comfortable six-bedroom flat with a kitchen and two bathroom facilities. The staff were not particularly helpful, but if nagged enough, they got things done. Slowly. <br /><br /> We were located within a 20 minute walk to the city center, but around us was plenty of grocery shopping and other necessary places. It wasn't pretty, but it was comfortable within the confines of the park. There were usually cabs available at night since Nottingham has a very active night life. We did have to buy cookware and sheets and general room necessities, though they did provide beds and mattresses, sofas, rubbish bins and those general things.

* Food:

I cooked for myself, so there was no problem. I also bought my own groceries.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I didn't take part in any of the programs offered by the study abroad team, but I'm sure they were lovely.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

I would warn any interested student that Nottingham has the highest crime rate in Britain, or second highest after London. Its nickname is aptly "Shottingham." Be careful at night. If you go to the ATM, go with a friend. Just don't do stupid things, like accepting a drink from a stranger. Ruffie stories abound.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? No


* Money: How easily were you able to live on a student's budget?

(1 = not very easy/$200+ on food & personal expenses/week, 2.5 = $100/week, 5 = very easily/minimal cost)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? Sorry, I have no idea.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? If you're a party animal, prepare to pay out your nose. I don't really do the party thing. There was nothing surprising in any of the expenses.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

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  • International Students
* Who did you take classes with?

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  • Local Students

A Look Back

* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I would recommend looking elsewhere. Nottingham is not really a nice place and I'm sure there are other better universities to attend.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Arthurian Literature

Course Department:
Instructor: Nicola Royan
Instruction Language: English
Comments: I thought this course was interesting and well-presented. I went in without knowing that it was basically a medieval literature course, and so found the topic a bit dull, but the professor was well-read and respectful.
Credit Transfer Issues: No
Course Name/Rating:

Interfaculty Spanish Level 1A

Course Department:
Instructor: Anna Maria Pizzario
Instruction Language: English
Comments: I liked this class, though it wasn't very well done. The teacher was unfocused, though friendly enough. There wasn't much oral practice and the textbook was next to useless.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Mandarin Chinese Level 4

Course Department:
Instructor: Yunnan Guo
Instruction Language: Chinese
Comments: The teacher was good at explaining things, but the class itself was so unfocused that I don't think I retained much of the irrelevant vocabulary. Too much English was spoken and the level of translation was too lofty.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Interfaculty French Level 3

Course Department:
Instructor: James Heywood
Instruction Language: French
Comments: I liked the professor. He was a well-meaning fellow and could have provided a great deal of support, but unfortunately, the class was so unfocused and so prone to speaking English that I didn't feel my French improved even a little. Also, we discussed really heavy topics, such as poverty and racism, which are difficult enough to discuss in English.
Credit Transfer Issues: