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International

Andrei Dinca

From: Romania

Course: Geography

College: St. Cuthbert’s Society

Why did you choose Durham? Mainly because of its rankings at the beginning. I didn’t know much about Durham before coming here. I only looked at the rankings and on the Geography Department’s website and thought this might be a good choice. However, despite going blindly, I think this has been the best decision and I am more than happy with Durham and the Durham Experience.

How has your experience of being an international student here at Durham been so far? Durham may not be as international as London universities for example, but I still believe the experience as an international student in Durham is extremely enriching. The ‘configuration’ of the city and the University is really helpful for an international student, especially during the beginning of their time spent at the University. It is really easy to navigate the city and find your way immediately after moving from (usually) a different place. My experience has had its ups and downs, but I don’t regret anything.

What do you do in your free time here? The notion of ‘free time’ is extremely tricky these days. Indeed, I might not have more than 10-15 formal contact hours per week, but there is a lot more to do than just going to lectures and seminars, both in terms of academia and volunteering/other activities. I’m using my ‘free time’ to volunteer and to play various sports – especially tennis for my college and for the Durham University League. I also have a part-time job for the Archaeology Department. I take all these very seriously and, therefore, I’m not sure if this is my free time or not. However, besides my study I try to do as much as possible, including the Student Ambassador role, in order to help as many people as possible.

What’s your favourite thing about Durham? There’s no one single thing I like most about Durham. Just to name a few, these would be: my department, the Cathedral, the Castle, the narrow roads, the atmosphere of the city.

What would you say to another international student thinking of applying to Durham? Follow your instincts and get as much information as you can before taking the final step. When you decide think what it would be good for yourself and for your future. And what could it be better other than a top University with the serene landscape of Durham? You have the chance to live 3 years in a place where you can study, have fun, play sports, make friends and become whoever you want to be under the guidance of some of the most inspirational people.