|Nottingham's Market Square|
In 2010, I did a summer study abroad program in Nottingham, England. I had been considering a Master's program in History, but wasn't sure I was ready to commit myself to going back to school after so recently getting my Bachelors' degree. I signed up for the study abroad program to see if I really wanted to go back to school. I also wanted an opportunity to immerse myself in a different culture, to travel, to learn and to photograph some amazing places. The experience was amazing in so many ways! Here is just a small glimpse of my study abroad experience.
|Nottingham's Market Square|
About thirty students from my home state of Arizona participated in the program. Nottingham, England was our home base, and we got to know the town quite well over our summer there. The city centre is the historic Market Square, pictured above. The square was near our university, New College Nottingham, and provided us with plenty of places to eat and shop (Primark being a favorite shopping destination).
|Liberty Square Dorm Room|
Liberty Square was our home away from home, and we each got a private dorm room in a student flat. Each flat had a few bedrooms, plus a small kitchenette and two bathrooms. The rooms were small, as you can see, but we were all quite comfortable.
We were able to get around the city very easily using the tram. We took it to school and home each day, and could also head into town at night when we wanted to get a pint at the pub. Some of us spent more time working on homework than at the pub, so lots of coffee and tea were consumed during the course of the summer.
|Coffee Break at Costa|
|Studying in Nottingham|
During our weekends, we traveled out of Nottingham to places like London, Paris, and Edinburgh. We did make sure to see the sites of Nottingham when we could. Of course, a visit to Nottingham isn't complete without a Robin Hood siting.
|Robin Hood Statue|
When we did have time for a pint, there were lots of great pubs to choose from. The Pitcher and Piano (a pub built in a deconsecrated church in the historic Lace Market area) and the Pit and the Pendulum (a Poe themed pub, where the loos were hidden behind faux bookshelves) were favorites. Here is a photo of a charming little pub called the Royal Children. Sadly, this pub was a bit too far from home, so we only ever saw it from the outside.
The most interesting and well-known pub in Nottingham is the Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem, said to be the oldest inn in England. The pub is built right into the base of Nottingham Castle, as it was once the castle's brewhouse. The pub is small, atmospheric and thought to be haunted. We spent our last night at the Trip, and it was a great time.
At the end of summer, it was clear to me that I didn't really want to go back to school. I do love learning, but it wasn't a structured and guided learning experience that I was after. I realized that what I was looking for was a more artistic and creative experience, an idea which led me to start this blog. Truly, this study abroad experience was the first of many things that started me on this path. I can also thank the experience for a new group of smart, supportive and lovely friends. Five of us girls met in 2010 in Nottingham, and have kept in touch since. It is a gift to have experienced something so special with such great friends!