My univeristy is called the Unversity of East Anglia (UEA). It is a campus university located in Norwich, Norfolk, England, founded as part of the British government’s New Universities programme in the 1960s.

The UEA has a motto – “Do different”. It is indeed very different.

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The site of the campus today was once the Earlham municipal golf course. Denys Lasdun (who designed the Royal National Theatre in London) designed the university’s core buildings including the central square (see pictures above), the foot bridges (see pictures below) and the “ziggurats” of Norfolk and Suffolk Terrace (as mentioned below). His plan was that no building on campus should be more than five minutes’ walk away from any other.

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The main campus of the UEA is very compact and all buildings (except the law school in the Earlham Hall) are centralized in one area. The wide use of the foot bridges to connect different buildings and at the same time allowing the vehicles to run underneath, is a charateristic of its architectural design.

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Inside the campus, there are a number of hall residences for students and most of them are surrounded by grasslands. My first hall residence is called Norfolk Terrace (see the picture in the middle of above). Together with Suffolk Terrace (another hall residence adjacent to it), they are well known for their “Ziggurats” (having the form of a terraced pyramid) architectural design.

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Outside Norfolk Terrace, there is a grassland and a huge broad.The broad is a man-made lake dug out in the 1970’s. It consists of 18 acres of freshwater. You can catch fishes there with a permit. Depths of water vary from a couple of feet to about 25 feet.

If you want some fun in the evening, you can go to the grassland to watch the rabbits which like to leave their hidden homes at night time.

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Adjacent to the campus is a huge grasslands of 8 hectares – the Earlham Park Woods. It is a Local Nature Reserve owned by Norwich City Council (Local Nature Reserves are places with wildlife or geological features that are of special interest locally and are almost always owned by local authorities). The park is huge in area but there are scarcely any person around except for the area near the entrance. One time I ran around the park but most of the time I could not find any person within my sight. That was the only and would be the last time I went around the whole park.

I have seen squirrels in the park. One of my classmates told me he has seen a fox in the park too one late afternoon (later I did find a fox in around my hall residence). In fact there are many animals living in the park.

As the park is very close to the campus, I initially had mistaken it for part of the campus. The park has a particularly close connection to me because the UEA law school is situated inside the park and it is also the running field for me (it is only two minutes’ walk from my second hall residence (University Village) which I later moved to).

UEA law school

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My law school is situated in the Earlham Hall in the Earlham Park. If you walk from the main campus and want a short route, you will go through a path (as shown in the pictures above).

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You will not believe it –  the Earlham Hall is such an old and shabby house. It looks like it may tumble any moment. There are even holes at some parts of the roof. Nevertheless, the Earlham Hall has a position in the history of the UEA: it was the home of the administrative offices of the UEA during the earlier days of establishment of the UEA until 1975.

Unlike other academic departments which are all situated in well-maintained buildings and in the main campus, the law school is set far apart from the main campus and housed in the old Earlham Hall in poor conditions. I have no idea why the law school is treated in such a “preferential” way. However, the law school may feel proud in this: the Earlham Hall is a house of historical interest. It dates from 1642 and was the home of the Gurney family from 1786 to 1912. Elizabeth Fry, a member of the Gurney family and the famous British prison reformer in early nineteenth century, had been living there).

On the way I went to the law school for the first time, I asked a lady in the main campus where it was situated. She asked me, “Do you really need to go there? It is a bit far away.” I replied, “Yes, I have to go there because I need to complete the registration there.” I suddenly became worried whether I could reach the house in time. “How long will it take to go there?” I asked. “Ten minutes”. Okay, it was only ten minutes walk. It was not THAT far.