So, so glad I studied abroad at ASE July 10, 2023

By (Anthropology, Brandeis University) - abroad from 06/03/2023 to 07/08/2023 with

Advanced Studies England: Bath - ASE Study Centre

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Academically, it was a great experience to learn from British faculty and experience a different culture of learning. Also, with such a writing-intensive nature to both my courses, I think that I became a better, faster writer. I made so many amazing friends and felt very connected to the community; I can see myself returning to the UK for graduate school or to work after graduation, and would do this program again and again if I could.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 0-2 weeks

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

Although the academics were sometimes intense (four 2000 word papers during five weeks is a lot to do, especially on top of all of the reading and other, smaller assignments!) only having two classes at a time made it much easier to balance academics and social / cultural engagement. The library was a great place to get work done, and there were plenty of resources there to use. I did mostly use my home university's research resources, though, since there's just a lot more available there than there is through ASE.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The ASE staff is so wonderful, they are all incredibly friendly and helpful. There is always a staff member on call in case of an emergency, and students can also drop by any time staff members are in their offices and ask a question. Over time, I formed great relationships with some of the staff members and it was almost as hard to say goodbye to them as it was to say goodbye to my friends!

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Living in flats in the center of the city is perfect; we were within walking distance of anything we could need, and had easy access to buses and trains to travel farther distances. Some of the rooms were a bit small, but most doubles were much larger than those you'd normally find in a college dorm. Some challenges that came up, though, were the very bad laundry machines (I know some people who just gave up and went to laundromats) and the lack of some important kitchenware. Different flats had different crockery, and though for the most part it was sufficient, some flats had four spoons for five people, no large sauce pans, etc. The staff were very helpful in finding solutions to any issues that came up; most problems were just the result of not asking for help.

* Food:

Since we all live in flats and townhouses, we cook (or buy) pretty much all our own food. The only times that isn't the case are on required overnight trips, when we are provided either a bagged lunch or a small stipend for purchasing a meal. Generally the stipend was insufficient to cover the full cost of food, but it was enough to make the meal more equivalent to what it would cost to cook at home.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

From the very beginning of the program, we were encouraged to connect with the greater community in Bath. We were offered opportunities to go on tours of the city run by ASE staff, invited to 'knit night' and other local events, and provided information about other events in the area.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

I felt very safe in Bath and knew that even when I left on study trips or individual travel I could contact ASE staff for help if I needed it. One note, though, is that although I generally did feel safe walking around as a gender queer person, there were times that I was stared at or glared at (only ever by tourists) when I wore clothing that made me more visibly queer.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes

I had such an excellent academic and social experience, and was able to learn and experience all kinds of things that were specific to being in Bath. Overall, I really loved my time at ASE!


* Money: How easily were you able to live on a student's budget?

(1 = not very easy/$200+ on food & personal expenses/week, 2.5 = $100/week, 5 = very easily/minimal cost)

Bath is a pretty expensive city, and the study trips often go to places like London, Oxford, Swanage, etc. which are also fairly touristy and pricey. While there was one less expensive grocery store, food was definitely my main expense. That was especially the case at times when I was away on weekend trips and could not cook.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $160
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Cook at home! Restaurants are expensive and really add up. Another tip is to pay close attention to the options available for transportation (e.g. bus vs. train, leaving early vs. leaving midday, etc.) as often there are much less expensive options that just take a bit more research to find.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? No

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with? 0

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • We had so many opportunities to travel outside of Bath and see other places in the UK
  • The courses were very specific to the location, and we were able to connect what we were learning to the places we were living.
  • The program was set up well to facilitate connections with other students and with the greater community in Bath. It was easy to make friends and I ended up creating some great relationships in Bath.
* What could be improved?
  • Sometimes ASE scheduled events for students without alerting the professors, resulting in times when it was challenging to complete work on time.
  • This is only relevant to the summer school, but there wasn't much integration of the education, main, and theatre summer schools unless you were housed together or met right at the beginning of the program during orientation.
  • It could have been nice to have slightly more communication about who we were going to live with before the program began; while we were provided with their names, we had to figure out contact information. It wasn't a big issue at all because they followed our housing requests well and almost everyone I knew had great relationships with their roommates, but it could have alleviated some stress.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I new how central to the experience it is to make the most out of ASE trips and to do independent travel on free weekends, as well. ASE is in a fantastic location to just hang out in Bath, but it's also less than two hours by train to London, about fifteen minutes to Bristol, and it's even easy to get to Dublin, Paris, or other cool locations if you budget for it ahead of time.

Reasons For Studying Abroad

To help future students find programs attended by like-minded individuals, please choose the profile that most closely represents you.
The Academic or Linguist
You went abroad with specific academic goals in mind; the program credentials and rigor of your coursework abroad were very important to you. You had a great time abroad, but never lost sight of your studies and (if applicable) were diligent with your foreign language study. Good for you!

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

The Romans in Britain

Course Department:
Instruction Language: English
Comments: The course was entirely lecture-based and sometimes a bit dry, but because of the small class size we were able to bond as a group, making the class much more fun as the term progressed. It was really amazing to get to learn about Britain's history during the Roman occupation in a place with so much archaeological evidence (after all, Bath was a Roman city!) and we even got to take study trips to other Roman towns nearby. All assessments in this course were papers, but they were not graded particularly harshly; however, it is necessary to begin planning for the papers well ahead of time, as they are based around fairly specific questions and research/planning can take a long time if you are not properly prepared. Class participation was also considered in the final grade.
Credit Transfer Issues: