Bristol Exchange Past Review

By (The University of Texas at Austin) - abroad from 01/20/2014 to 06/12/2014 with

University of Bristol: Bristol - Direct Enrollment & Exchange

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
It's a great way to learn to adapt. The university system is completely different in England and it was an adventure to learn how to deal with different circumstances. I would say any abroad program is worthwhile. You'll be put out of your comfort zone multiple times but at the end of it you'll be able to adapt to many things in the future.

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.

Very different from UT. You're not required to go to lecture, the lectures sometimes don't even cover what you are being tested on. Mostly teaching yourself and the professors are not as helpful as at UT.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

They were very hard to work with and I mostly had to go through my program coordinator back at UT (which helped). They are resistant to helping you with things such as signing up for courses (you don't know which courses you get to take until one week before term starts), telling you tips for how the classes are organized, and transcripts are very slow.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I lived in privately owned dorms and it was a very pleasant stay. It's called the Student Castle and I'd recommend it.

* Food:

It's expensive to eat out but Bristol has lots of interesting restaurants to eat at and they have good food. Also, the grocery store is very close to where you live so it's easy to just pick stuff up on the way back from class for things you want to eat that night.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I mostly integrated with people from the program (Americans and Canadians). They don't help you integrate with British people, it's very much up to you if you want to just join a group. But, in the groups friends have already been made by Spring semester and it's really hard to jump in. The program doesn't set up any social events and doesn't help with integration.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I got sick during my time at Bristol and the health care system is really easy. Multiple doctors around the city so one will be in walking distance if you need it. My program didn't help me, I just looked it up online for a close doctor.

* Safety:

I never felt like there was any problem in this area, just have your city sense like back in Austin and it's fine.

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)

England is not a cheap country. I would suggest really taking into consideration the high cost of living if you are on a strict budget. I would say a 2.5-3 level of cost, maybe 100$ a week. The exchange rate is bad for the U.S Dollar right now versus the pound and their price of living is higher.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 100-150$


* Did your program have a foreign language component? No

Direct Enrollment/Exchange

* Did you study abroad through an exchange program or did you directly enroll in the foreign university? Exchange

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Other
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
  • International 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?
  • The ability to travel cheaply to many different European countries
  • Short classes
  • the city itself (lots to do in Bristol)
* What could be improved?
  • The professors communication with students
  • The lack of help to abroad students
  • Lack of outline for final papers/tests along with the professors unwillingness to help
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? The lack of help I would receive across seas and the difference in Professors. I took advantage of the fact that UT has incredible professors that will sit down with you and help you improve in their subject. I thought this standard would be at Bristol but they don't value helping students. They want you to "independently study" but at UT we do that and also get help from professors. They use this term to get out of helping you.

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 Networker
An active student leader, it was important for you to network abroad as well. Once overseas, you sought out student clubs, volunteered with local organizations, or attended community events. You encouraged your friends join you, and often considered how you could reflect your international experiences in a resume.