Why you should Study Abroad in England July 14, 2017

By (Oklahoma State University - Stillwater) - abroad from 02/06/2017 to 06/21/2017 with

Loughborough University: Leicestershire - Direct Enrollment & Exchange

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
The most fulfilling experience of my life. You can't teach the lessons learned while studying abroad. I made friends with people from all over the world, gained an enormous sense of confidence, expanded my world view and perspective.

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.

Great program at Loughborough University Design School, tremendous staff, excellent campus, and great resources for students. The student experience has won national awards, and after studying at Loughborough, I understand why! There are so many diverse events and activities and societies for students.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The administration is much more distant than what I was used to at Oklahoma State University, but they were there to assist when I needed help. Very friendly and helpful.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I was placed in one of the oldest dorms on campus. Although clean and in good shape, the furnishings were extremely outdated and far from par with all the other facilities on campus. However, other students who studied abroad were placed in higher quality flats, so I don't believe this complaint applies to all international students living on campus.

* Food:

My home university does not have a cafeteria or well-organized dining program. At my study abroad university, I was able to pay for all my meals (Breakfast, lunch, and dinner Mon-Fri) as part of my rent agreement. This was great because I never had to worry about walking into town for groceries, I saved money, and I didn't lose any time to cooking meals every day. However, it's a cafeteria, so the food is not always the most delicious. It did the job.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

England is pretty similar to the US in many regards, however, Loughborough University's International Welcome/orientation put me in touch with so many other international students. I was able to find a great group of students who were in the same shoes - trying to adapt to living in a new country and navigating travels across Europe.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Not applicable

* Safety:

Loughborough University is a relatively safe campus, especially compared to Oklahoma State's campus. So many students live in the central area of campus and many activities at night take place at the student union. Therefore, most any time of day or night, you'll find yourself in the company of other students walking around - it makes you feel much safer. The campus is also monitored by a security guard at the front entrance who controls traffic into campus all day and night. Cars are only allowed in through this entrance during the night hours.

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

My program was tremendous for English speakers. I never became fluent in a foreign language, so my options were very limited for wanting to study abroad. However, finding a program in England was wonderful for me to be able to take advantage of the study abroad opportunity. I was able to speak English in class, but I was close enough to other European countries to have the ability to expose myself to other cultures and languages on trips outside of England.

Finances

* 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)

With the scholarships I was able to earn (thanks to Oklahoma State University's support of study abroad programs) I was able to cover most all of the costs of studying abroad. My meals were mostly taken care of through my rent agreement at Loughborough University which made my weekly spending very minimal (less than $50 per week)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $50 for activities, events. (More if I had left campus to take a trip somewhere)
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Live frugally as much as possible, but know when to splurge. Save money on your daily meals, walk instead of paying for transportation, and avoid buying non-essentials. This will leave you a greater budget for what matters most - having the ability to afford traveling and attending events. I saved my money day-to-day in order to save for plane tickets for traveling outside of my host country. When I was on these trips, I also tried to save money on food and hostels so I could afford a fancy meal, a souvenir, a guided tour, or entry to a special concert or event.

Language

* Did your program have a foreign language component? No

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • International Students
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

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

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Tremendous people
  • Student experience on campus
  • Proximity to European countries
* What could be improved?
  • Host country administration
  • Living facility
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? My advice - Studying abroad is completely possible. I was initially worried about my ability to endure leaving the US for five months in addition to funding the experience. However, in hindsight, OSU gave me excellent resources for funding. I was able to pay for basically all of my necessities through scholarship. Additionally, I learned how to conquer fears and gain tremendous confidence by pushing myself into this experience even when I was very nervous and uneasy about leaving my friends and family behind. I gained an entirely new set of friends, experiences, and a new sense of self. If you're considering studying abroad, you've probably heard someone say they wish "everyone was required to have this experience." After you study abroad, you'll see why. Nothing compares - its the best learning experience university can offer you. Do it!!

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!