If you’re looking for an amazing city to study in, Nottingham is the place for you! Conrad, our alumna, tells us all about his experience living and studying in this vibrant city.
Hi, i’m Conrad and moving to Nottingham to study at NTU provided me with an amazing university experience. I was the first member of my family to attend university. As well as wanting to continue learning and experience a new city, I wanted to get out of my hometown – Leeds.
Once I had narrowed down which universities offered the courses I was interested in, I chose to come to Nottingham by looking through the gig guide in the NME. Every band that toured the country never failed to play Nottingham. That was as eloquent a recommendation as I could hope for, and I spent much of Freshers Week in the Rock City Venue.
I soon found that Nottingham is a lot different to what I had been used to. Leeds is a loud and intense place, and I found Nottingham to be far more relaxed. It’s a big, creative, seething city, but still manages to be calm and unassuming. And very very green.
I loved spending time at Nottingham Castle – a grand, palatial museum, that was still very welcoming and endlessly interesting. Regularly visiting the cafe to revise for my final exams convinced me that I wanted to work in museums. In fact, I eventually took a job at the Castle.
I met my wife while we were both students at NTU. We spent many long afternoons walking through Wollaton Park and the arboretum. So close to the city centre, there were such beautiful and extensive natural landscapes. These places remain special to us and the family we have had here.
I dived into the cultural life of the city while I was at NTU. There’s always something cool and exciting going on in Nottingham. I even managed to DJ at soul and indie nights in town!
Hockley is a great cultural hub in the city centre. It is a famous place where you can hear a huge range of music on any night of the week. Broadway shows films I would never have seen anywhere else! I saw gigs every week at the Social (now the Bodega) by bands that would go on to become legends. When my own band played there I felt part of a large and illustrious history!
The whole thing was written about in LeftLion. A must-read that can be found pretty much anywhere in town every month. I even took the chance to see Nottingham Forest, whose ground really is in one of the loveliest settings you can ask for. And it is right next to the river!
The view from the Brian Clough stand over the city can even make up for the rubbish often seen on the pitch.
After I graduated it was an easy decision for us to stay in the city. We are renting a flat next to the arboretum.
Nottingham is in a constant state of renewal and upgrade. I’ve seen wonderful public places like the New Art Exchange, Rough Trade and Nottingham Contemporary open. These have quickly become an essential part of the cultural life of the city forums to encourage everyone who visits to add to that culture themselves. I am a proud Yorkshireman but Nottingham has been the making of me. I am excited to see how the city continues to grow and change.
By Simon Brown – Curator at Newstead Abbey
Read more about Simons work here
Simon is an NTU Alumni Fellow. You can find out more about how to get involved with the Alumni Fellowship Programme here.
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