Ready to go back to Glasgow! TASSEP Past Review

By (The University of Texas at Austin) - abroad from 01/25/2012 to 06/01/2012 with

University of Strathclyde: Glasgow - Direct Enrollment & Exchange

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned much more about financial independence and planning for trips (spring break was both one of the most stressful and most wonderful vacations I've ever been on). I also learned more about international policies and politics and how they compare to America's. Overall it was most definitely a worthwhile trip.

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.

The material itself was at about the same level of difficulty as my home university, but the grading methods were different (much more weight put on the final and few - if any - assignments other than the final and midterm to help your grade). There was often a lot of time between tests, which were cumulative, so there was more to remember and more time to forget as well, so I had to change my study habits to accommodate.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The International Office was very helpful about making sure we had everything we needed and got signed up for the classes we wanted without a problem. Always available for support when needed.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Housing was a flat with five other girls. Single bedrooms, shared kitchen and living room. Bedroom was a decent size and had a sink/mirror area, but there was very little shelving/drawer space. Weekly cleaning service for shared areas. Showers were tiny and water pressure was not good at all.

* Food:

I made most of my own meals, but there were several on campus cafes for a quick sandwich or a cup of coffee when I didn't feel like cooking. Campus was also right in the middle of the city center, so there were plenty of restaurants, chippies, and grocery stores.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I didn't get to know as many Scottish people as I thought I might; the exchange students tended to stick to each other. The student-run International Society was great, though. They had at least two weekend trips around Scotland every month and hosted a weekly pub night.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Students were encouraged to register with the NHS, but I know some people who had trouble with that - some medical facilities wouldn't sign you up since you were only going to be in the UK for a short time. Strathclyde is right across the street from a major hospital, so there's a very quick response time if you need to see a doctor, you just might end up paying out of pocket for it.

* Safety:

I always felt pretty safe around Glasgow. It's not exactly known as the safest city, but the area around campus was fine, well-lit and always lots of people around.

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)

Glasgow is one of the cheaper places in the UK, but budgeting was still a bit tricky, especially allowing for traveling expenses during the semester. I also hadn't realized how expensive going out for drinks even once or twice a week could be.

* Was housing included in your program cost? No
* Was food included in your program cost? No
Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $100
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Find discount/bulk grocery stores (Aldi is great for grocery shopping on a budget). Set a weekly budget but try not to spend all of it every week, just to make sure you have enough left over for emergencies or trips or whatever else might suddenly come up.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? No

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • International Students
* 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?
  • Glasgow is an absolutely fantastic city
  • I met so many wonderful people
  • I loved seeing a part of the world I'd never been to before
* What could be improved?
  • Clarification on who can register with the NHS and how to go about doing it
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I had a better idea of what my budget would need to look like before getting there. I mostly eat at my dorm's (prepaid) dining hall at home, so I had no idea how much groceries would cost until I got there.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Intermediate Immunology

Course Department: Biomedical
Instructor: D. Rotondo
Instruction Language: English
Comments: This course was challenging in that it could be difficult to follow. There were multiple instructors, some of whom taught only a few lectures, some of whom taught for weeks, and each had very different styles of teaching which made it hard to keep up sometimes. There was one essay (which was based solely on personal research, not the lecture material), one multiple choice exam at the end of the year, and a final exam. Both exams were cumulative and the only assignments on lecture material, so you really had no way of knowing whether or not you really understood the material until these major tests. The material was generally interesting, and I did have some wonderful instructors, but overall the class felt very poorly managed.
Credit Transfer Issues: No transfer issues
Course Name/Rating:

Order and Nature in Renaissance Writing

Course Department: English
Instructor: Erica Fudge
Instruction Language: English
Comments: Really fantastic course on British Renaissance lit. Erica was a wonderful, very engaging teacher, and the small class size (about 12 people) made it easier to participate.
Credit Transfer Issues: I took this class just as an elective credit, so there were no transfer issues.