24 hours in Norwich
A huge WELCOME to Ksenia this week! A PhD student at the University of East Anglia, she’s sharing her daily life on and around campus…
Wakey wakey! It’s yet another beautiful, sunny morning in Norwich. The birds are singing, the trees are starting to bloom and you can smell the spring in the air!
I like to start my day by going for a run or to the swimming pool. Today is a pool day, so I swim for an hour at the UEA Sportspark, take a shower and then head home.
I live about 10 minutes away from campus, in a quiet residential area of Norwich. Since Norwich is not awfully big, wherever you live is usually a convenient distance from both the city centre and the university, so you don’t have to waste a lot of time travelling.
Although I prefer to drive, there are alternatives, like taking a bus or cycling. Buses run frequently between the city and the university, and there are multiple bicycle routes throughout the city.
I make myself breakfast, have a cup of tea and start studying.
As a PhD student, I don’t have that many classes, so I mainly work at home or at the library.
You don’t even need to physically be there to get the books and academic articles that you need – most of them can be accessed online! It’s incredibly useful for students like me, who prefer to study in the peace and quiet at home.
Back to campus to meet with my supervisors. These meetings take place every two to four weeks when you are in the first year of your PhD, and then less frequently after that.
I discuss my ideas and concerns, get feedback for the work I’ve done so far and work out a plan of action for the next couple of weeks. Yes, more reading and writing ahead!
I have a few spare minutes after the meeting, so I take a brief walk around the campus.
UEA’s campus is very green and very spacious – it’s a pleasant environment to study in. The walk helps me sort out my thoughts after the meeting, and get a clearer structure of ideas in my head.
Depending on the time of day, you can also spot a few squirrels or rabbits on your way!
It’s Monday, which means Research Seminar day!
Every week each school holds a Research Seminar for PhD students. Some weeks students present their papers to the rest of the faculty, other weeks the university invites visiting speakers.
Today we’ll get a chance to meet Professor Charles Barr, who’s giving a talk on Irish-American director John Ford and the handling of dialogue in his films, particularly the linguistic patterns of names and naming.
It’s our tradition to go for a drink every Monday after the Research Seminar. It gives students a chance to talk to each other, as well as meet academic staff in a more relaxed atmosphere.
The UEA Grad bar is the perfect space for these kinds of meetings. It is dedicated to postgraduate mature students, so it’s quieter than the pub on campus.
Back home, I cook dinner, watch TV or read a book, chat with my parents on Skype and prepare for another busy but exciting day ahead.
Ksenia, Russian Ambassador for UEA and INTO