Travels to China: on the joys of a branch campus

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I am as adventurous as the next person, but even I did not expect to be spending part of June 2013 walking on to the University of Nottingham Campus- in Ningbo, China. It really is quite strange to go to work as normal, but in surroundings that are both strangely familiar and yet very different. The Nottingham campus in Ningbo combines familiar landmarks such as the distinctive tower of the Trent Building, the lake, and the geese, with a startling array of the unfamiliar, such as a serene pavilion, skyscrapers against the horizon and some impressively huge beasties.
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There were plenty of things to wonder at, not least the fact that I was there at all. You see, Nottingham has two branch campuses, one at Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, and one at Ningbo, China, with each campus adding its very own distinctive strengths to the Nottingham family. And it just so happened that in one particular week in June, work took me from Nottingham to the other side of the world. I loved it. You see, working (and studying) at Nottingham can mean being part of a global institution, with all the opportunities for learning that brings. One example? Well, my visit to Ningbo coincided wit the start of the annual Summer School. As I was there anyway, I popped into one of the Mandarin classes on offer. As I entered the class room, a girl in a front row seat looked up and smiled. It was then that again the familiar and the unexpected collided: the girl in the classroom in Ningbo was one of our First Years from Nottingham! Louise will offer her perspective on China in her own words, so read on…

Gabriele Neher

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