Bristol: Why I Need to Come Back to England Past Review

By (International Relations, History, Drake University) for

University of Bristol: Bristol - Direct Enrollment & Exchange

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Absolutely! I have learned a lot from my flatmates about the cultural differences between America and England. Even though we speak the same language, we have a lot to learn about each other! It's definitely impacted my plans for the future, as I am now seriously considering the UK, Bristol in particular, for post-grad work.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 1 month - 6 months

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

Obviously the workload seemed quite a bit less than at my home university, but that is mostly due to the fact that I usually take a much heavier credit load than I was able to here. There was also quite a bit less class time than I'm used to, but once I got used to it I enjoyed this difference.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The international office at Bristol was very helpful and offered the students even more specific orientation, which was nice. Additionally, IFSA-Butler staff made sure to check in even though there isn't a member of their staff who stays in Bristol.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The neighborhood Durdham is in is extremely safe, and it is mostly students so there is always plenty to do. I did need to buy more 'household' stuff than I had anticipated, so be sure to budget for that.

* Food:

As I said, I mostly cook for myself, but I have noticed that being a vegetarian here is SO much more convenient than most other European countries. Everything at grocery stores and in cafes is labelled, and the Brits are always helpful in making substitutions in restaurants if you have a dietary restriction. There are also a ton of great cafes and restaurants in Bristol - and many cheap options for students as well!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

IFSA-Butler arranged an amazing 'adventure weekend' in Snowdownia, Wales, and that was a lot of fun! It was great to see a very unique part of the UK and just to get out in nature for a bit.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

I always felt very safe at Bristol because I would see uni security around Durdham at night. Just knowing that they were there was reassuring. I have been ill a few times here, but only minor colds so luckily I haven't had to go to a GP or anything.

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


* 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)

Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? I wish I had budgeted more for household goods, such as pots/pans, bedding, soap, etc. That was about twice what I thought it would be. I would recommend about 100 pounds for that stuff. Also, the exchange rate will get you every time. Definitely wish I had planned better to account for that.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • International Students
  • Local Students

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • The city itself
  • The London staff!
  • Being fully immersed in Brit life
* What could be improved?
  • Can't think of anything - it was great!
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? If you do your research, you will love it! Get involved as much as you can and you will have a fantastic time!