23 September 2020

'The right place at the right time'

As a new academic year starts, three graduates remember their first few weeks at UEA. The gigs, the sports teams, and a giant volcano.  

Carla Gomes, graduated 2018

Doing a PhD at UEA was one of my best life decisions. I always recall Norwich with a warm heart. This was my first time living abroad, and I was thrilled. I arrived from Portugal two days before the big UEA 50th anniversary. I remember there was a volcano on top of the hill, and a very relaxed feeling to that late summer day, full of expectations.

The Norfolk landscape was love at first sight. I rented a room at the Golden Triangle and I bought a lovely green bicycle, with which I would ride to campus and explore the surroundings. The UEA Broad, the cathedral and the Riverside Walk along the Wensum became my favourite places. I was warmly welcomed at DEV, greatly expanded my academic culture and inherited dear friends who are now spread all over the world, but surely in my heart!

Carla on the North Norfolk coast


Richard Prudence, graduated 1985

I arrived at UEA in October 1982. I knew I was sharing a room in Waveney Terrace but did not know who my roommate was. Luckily I was paired with Mark Miller who remains my friend to this day.

After rapidly unpacking and ensuring my stereo was set up, we embarked on getting to know the campus. The first few days were a blur of administration, freshers parties, society fairs and an introduction to the LCR, the refectory and the bar!

Amazing to think of it now, but in the first few weeks we saw The Q Tips, Teardrop Explodes (plus Norwich’s own Screen 3), Bauhaus, The Damned, Thompson Twins, Tears for Fears, and Killing Joke. My love affair with live music and the LCR lives on and I am a very frequent visitor.

Richard's halls of residence


My other passion was also fulfilled as I joined UEA’s basketball club during my first week and we became one of the finest teams in the UK (we were UAU runners up to Exeter). I subsequently went on to play all over Europe.

My bond with UEA has never been broken and is now reinforced by the fact that my son has just graduated and my daughter is entering her final year at UEA in 2020.


Jackie Colvin, graduated in 1996  

In September 1993 I nervously walked into no. 8 Nelson Court kitchen. The first people I met were two boys. And one of those boys, James, I subsequently married.

Thinking of my first few weeks I think of the LCR, getting slightly too drunk and ending up at Peppermint Park, finding the Law section in the library – and being slightly overwhelmed! – getting roped into joining the girls cricket team, pound-a-pint, Fifers Lane (now long gone), the amazing Law School building and many other happy memories.

James and I are still happily married with two teenage children. And we’ve even brought the kids back to campus to show them where it all started.

Jackie and James return to campus


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