Sile: Hi and welcome back to Blends with me Sile and so now we're going to be talking about living in Derby.
So when I was a student here, in all my three years I did live in Derby, and my favorite thing to do was to walk around the city centre because everything was close to me I could go for a coffee and then go do some shopping, food shopping, clothes shopping. [And] I love the little museums and the little pockets, and as Radzi said, the Peak District is right on our doorstep and we have Markeaton park just a walk from the main campus. So Derby [it] was a great place for me to live in and of course the nightlife here is really good. And we're going to talk more about that with my guest Ioana and Marge, and I want to know about what they love about living in Derby.
So Marge we're going to talk to you first, what are your favorite things to do here in Derby?
Marge: So there were quite a lot of things to do, so if I wanted to socialise we had like bowling alleys, we had cinemas and just all kinds of things. If I want to be a little bit more sporty, we have that sports center [and] also got like climbing facilities as well, so I could go bouldering if I wanted to. So like there was all sorts to cater for what I was feeling really.
Sile: I like that. Ioana, what about you? What do you like to do around here?
Ioana: I think I like the fact that I just I can find what kind of place I want in regards of my feelings. Like if I want to go for like a coffee, I can just go for it because we have lots of those. (Laughter) And it's just a great thing I feel like Derby is kind of a mixture of everything so you have lots of options to go for when it comes to food, when it comes to drinks, when it comes to just people and culture, you have everything you want.
And I think what I've loved the most though is just the nature because we're surrounded by nature. Obviously we have the Markeaton Park which is a great place to hang out with friends or just go for a reading a book, [and] is just one of my favorite places in Derby I guess.
Sile: And, honestly, the swans in Markeaton Park are sassy! You know you don't mess with them. You leave them alone they like to play around with other things but it's a fun place to watch.
Now we're going to talk about the people and the the atmosphere of living here in Derby. In your opinion what is it like, what are the people like here?
Marge: So they're quite vibrant, like culturally diverse. Like it's not all just like the sea of that same faces. You see all kinds of different people and different walks of life as well so it's quite vibrant, lively and cultural.
Sile: And what about you?
Ioana: Yeah, as Marge said it's quite diverse. You find people from every possible country here and you get to get to know a little bit of every culture, of languages as well because there are some students some point they're just offering to teach you their language which is amazing.
And also the people from here - the locals - are just amazing. You just simply walk on the street and people smile you. It's just wow - it's great comparing to my country for example. People tend to be more workaholics but here everyone's just having a good time, everyone's just in a good mood constantly and I'm just like I need to learn from you guys! [Laughter]
Sile: And I would love to know where which country did you come from?
Ioana: I'm from Romania.
Sile: And what was it like going from Romania to here in Derby?
Ioana: Well it was quite a culture shock. So I'm from the East, so I just came here [and] it was unexpected for me as a student. I just came with this whole perspective that everything was gonna be the same but it wasn't actually. It was my first time abroad on my own obviously, so it took me a while until I got used to it, but then I just realised I'm in a community where everyone is the same. So all students and everyone just trying to help us so you can just again learn from everyone, it's quite interesting. It was quite a challenging experience when I think about it.
Sile: Thank you so much guys for speaking to me. We're gonna talk to Clarence next but just after this video.
Sile: Welcome back to Blends. With me, I'm now joined by Clarence. Now Clarence is an international student and I want to talk to you about living in Derby. So before coming to Derby which country did you come from?
Clarence: Yep so I'm from Phoenix Arizona back in the United States.
Sile: And what was it like when you first came here?
Clarence: Kind of like Ioana mentioned - it was a culture shock for sure. I'm from a desert type atmosphere and then, you know, coming here you get a lot of seasons whether it's in a day within the week, and so you know that was something different. So I'm just kind of adapting to that but you know I have really I guess adapted well and enjoyed it so far.
Sile: What are your favorite places to visit in Derby?
Clarence: So I am I'm kind of a fitness guy, so I like to visit the parks because they're just so pretty and whether I can, you know, run around them, I can bike around them or visit them. You guys have mentioned Markeaton Park a lot and my backyard was essentially Markeaton Park, and so I was there all the time avoiding the swans of course because they are very aggressive! There's Darley Park which is a beautiful park and then you know if you cycle around, you can definitely go and find other places like that.
And then also just kind of going into the city, being in that environment, as well. That is a lot different than what I'm used to back home because everything is so spread out back home and so you know just being able to go and whether it's find a shop [or] find the museums, like you had mentioned [..] was something that I've really enjoyed.
Sile: And what about making friends? Coming from Arizona to a Derby what was that like for you?
Clarence: So as I said, I was a sports scholar while I've been at the University, so you immediately come in and you know teammates, brothers, sisters. So they are very helpful to get into and meet friends. They are going to bring you out [and] make sure that you feel welcome here. And then also if anyone hears my accent, they are they are immediately [be] like: "Why are you in Derby?" and you know that just sparks up a conversation. So as long as you are open to [...] meeting new people you will have no problem making friends or meeting new people.
Sile: I like that. Now being a student, one of the things that's on our checklist is a nightlife, so what do you think the nightlife is like here in Derby?
Clarence: Yes, it is a lot different than back home. But what I have enjoyed is that you can find something [to] your taste... you can find it here in Derby. Whether it is hip-hop, whether it's techno, or you know dance and things like that, so you know there is just a little taste of like everything. Obviously right now things have been a little sticky, but even with the measures that are happening, it still has been very enjoyable.
Sile: I love that. And the people of Derby, you know, the residents - what do you think? Ioana and Marge say that they're wonderful, has that also been your experience?
Clarence: Yeah absolutely. You know, as I said all already, when they hear that I'm from America they want to spark up a conversation which is really nice [and] makes me feel at home in a sense. So if they would be walking around, people would just be flying by me. I would be like: "Oh, this is kind of ridiculous!" but no, it has been beautiful.
And I think Ioana had mentioned as well that. So when I was in the United States like that's pretty much the only people you see, and so even not only within England but even within Derby, I see so many different cultures, so many different like people. And so you know that has been something that I have really enjoyed, to hear the different languages and things like that.
Sile: Thank you so much Clarence. Now Derby is an amazing city and there's so much to do, now check out Tamzin's favorite places to visit here in Derby.
Tamzin: Hi my name is Tamzin and I'm a student here at Derby. I joined the University in September 2018 on a foundation year. I am now in my first year of my degree, and I thought I would answer some questions that students at Derby are frequently asked. I currently live in Derby I am living in halls of residence and this is my second year living in halls.
I absolutely love living in halls because of their central location, they are in really close proximity to the city center, meaning I can walk just about anywhere.
I am originally from Sheffield and I'd never been to Derby before I came to start looking here for University. As soon as I came to explore the city, I loved it. I got to discover all of the cute little shops that there are and the bars and restaurants.
There's some really cool chain restaurants that we have across the UK but there's also some really lovely independent ones that are exclusive to Derby. I also got to explore all of the shops that we have and get to know the area and figure out how I would go about living here.
Before I moved to Derby I did come and visit the city on multiple occasions, just to get a feel for the place and work out where my local shops would be and also the local pub because everybody needs to know that.
A couple of my favorite things to do in Derby are go shopping at the Intu center, go to Bustler Street Food market to discover lots of yummy street food traders, and also take part in all of the activities that there are in Derby including bowling and escape rooms and the cinema.
As I just mentioned there are plenty of things to do with friends, and me and my friends go to a lot of fun on the weekends exploring the city because we're all new to Derby and it's a great way to get out and see what there is on offer. I find balancing my personal life with being a student really manageable.
As I mentioned earlier, everything is in close proximity in Derby meaning I don't spend too much time on public transport or walking from A to B. I can really make the most of a day because I can get about super easily and if I need to take a bus anywhere I can use the Unibuses which are free of charge to students, which makes it super handy and a low-cost way of getting about.
Derby has so much to offer as a city and I'm really lucky to be a student here. I couldn't think of a better place to go to university. I get the amazing balance of this city and the countryside and with everything being within such close proximity, it means that exploring is very easy to do. The city is also well connected which makes it super cool for somebody like me who loves to travel. I'm 20 minutes away from East Midlands airport and I'm also very close on trains to other major cities.
If you would like to follow along with more of my adventures in Derby don't forget to go and follow me on Instagram. My username is @tamzinlina and I post on there all about my life as a student here at the University of Derby.