The Wettest, Greenest, Most Delicious, Most Adventurous, Most Wonderful Semester Past Review

By (PSYCHOLOGY., Truman State University) - abroad from 09/17/2012 to 01/18/2013 with

University of Strathclyde: Glasgow - Direct Enrollment & Exchange

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I gained a real sense of independence, learned how to better stand up for myself, and adopted the mindset that I can do anything that I want to. Being in so many different places reinforced the importance of patience and that it's okay if things don't go exactly according to plan. I came to understand that as long as I stayed calm and problem-solved, I could resolve any undesirable or complicated situation. Additionally, I came to have a better appreciation of my ability to speak French, especially after meeting so many international students who spoke two or more languages. Seeing more of the world inspired me to further dedicate myself to studying French. My favorite part of my experience abroad was becoming good friends with the other international students living in my apartment with me. I loved getting to understand their culture, learning about them, and traveling with them. Being in the UK, it was incredibly easy to travel, and I was able to explore a great deal of Scotland, and make it over to Europe several times. Being abroad gave me the travel bug - I'm already looking for opportunities to get come to Europe over the summer. Studying abroad in Glasgow had it's highs and lows, but ultimately, it was an amazing experience. If given the opportunity, I would study abroad again in a heartbeat.

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.

Some professors were excellent, but others were nearly useless. The only homework I had during the entire semester was a weekly 200-300 word journal entry and three papers between 2000 and 3000 words. No tests were given. The teachers give very vague details during lectures and expect students to teach themselves material relevant to the final examinations.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Sometimes it took a while to get help from the international office at Strathclyde, but they were ultimately helpful in resolving issues of final examinations and in communicating with my home institution.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I shared an on-campus flat with five other girls. The space was cramped, but completely adequate. My bedroom was small but cozy, there was enough storage space, and it had a window with a nice view. The kitchen was small and could have used more space, but functioned excellently. The housing was close to all the campus buildings, and right across the street from the library, which was great. The best part about the housing were the girls that I lived with.

* Food:

Food was not provided as part of my stay. There were several places to eat on campus, but I rarely took advantage of them. I cooked most of my own meals in my residence, as the supermarkets were close and it was more affordable.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Strathclyde is a commuter school; the people who live on campus are in an overwhelming majority, other international students. This made it very difficult to make Scottish friends or to feel integrated into local culture. Other international students and I had to actively seek out ways to immerse ourselves in the local culture, which was slightly difficult, but ultimately very rewarding.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I did not have any health concerns while studying abroad; however, I was registered with a GP in my second week here, just in case.

* Safety:

Safety on-campus was excellent. Campus police officers could be seen patrolling at various times throughout the day and night. Fire alarms were tested weekly. Glasgow itself can be a dangerous place, but only if you allow it to be. By traveling on more major streets in the daytime or with groups at night, you will be safer. I never felt unsafe at my institution of in Glasgow.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? No


* 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 an expensive city and the pound to dollar conversion rate is horrible. Certain weeks I spent a lot less than other weeks due to travel, going out with friends, and needing to buy things like clothes or books at various times.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? Most weeks I spent $80-100. Some weeks, I explored various parts of Scotland and spent a great deal more due to travel, food, and incidentals.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Buying food from the grocery stores and cooking meals is MUCH cheaper than going out to eat. When you go out to the clubs, only bring the amount of money you would want to spend on drinks and no more. That way, you have to stop drinking when the money runs out and you won't regret overspending on alcohol. Pack smartly for whatever climate you will be staying in. Don't bring too many clothes - no one will look at you funny if you have to repeat clothes during the week, and this way, you will have room to buy clothes you like while you're abroad.


* 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? Direct Enrollment

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • International Students
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • International Students
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?
  • The other international students that I met along the way are now some of my good friends. The people you meet while abroad are there for the same reasons as you, and I found that they make awesome travel companions and friends because of this.
  • It was very easy to travel and explore Scotland, the U.K., and Europe.
  • The freedom to explore and learn about yourself is unparalleled.
* What could be improved?
  • There really was no 'program' - I was just one of a giant group of international students at Strathclyde. More ways for students to meet one another is a necessity.
  • More ways for international students to become involved in the culture.
  • The dates of the fall semester in the U.K. conflicts with the beginning of the spring semester for most U.S. schools.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I knew how difficult it would be to meet Scottish students and to get really involved in Scottish culture. I wish that I had a better understanding of how much more expensive everything was here. For the most part, I was well-prepared coming into this experience, and having to learn things along the way was a part of what made the experience so great.

Reasons For Studying Abroad

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The Avid Adventurer
The wardrobe you packed was better suited for a semester of camping than club hopping. Outdoorsy, you might forgo a crazy night out for an early all-day adventure. You'd rather take in the rich culture of an old town than the metropolis of a modern city, but for you getting off the grid is ideal.