Could have been better, but I don't regret it Past Review

By (Eastern Illinois University) - abroad from 09/15/2018 to 12/15/2019 with

University of Winchester: Winchester - Direct Enrollment & Exchange

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I gained so much confidence and independence. I successfully traveled internationally by myself and that was a huge confidence boost, not many people my age can say they've done that.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? None

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The grading and writing expectations were so different than what I was used to. The content itself was interesting and I liked the professors but I did not get very good grades because I did not understand what they were looking for and I had to learn as I went because there was not very many helpful resources.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

There was not much support for problems I was having. They did a good job making sure I got to the university and found my accommodations and had a way to explore the country through guided tours. However, when I asked for help with academics, there wasn't much they offered or seemed to care. I also had to figure out how to get myself home as there wasn't any help with that.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I really enjoyed the accommodation I had. I had my own room and bathroom and shared a kitchen with six others. The kitchen was cleaned daily by staff. It was very safe as you needed a key card to enter the building and the flat and then also a key to get into your room.

* Food:

The food was ok. There were a few options of different places to go to eat. The one that was closest to my living area had pre-made sandwiches and muffins so that was more of a breakfast/snack place. The regular dining hall did not serve very good food. The eggs were always so runny and tasted for like butter than egg. The meat they had was almost always dry. However, I really enjoyed the soup and salad options the dining hall had. There was also a grill that served hamburgers and pizza which was probably my favorite but I couldn't go there every day since it cost more against the weekly allowance on the meal plan.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

My flat mates did a good job trying to include me in their activities but a lot of the time I felt left out. The way that majors work in England makes it so you are with the same people for every class the entire time you are at university so it was so hard to try and make friends with people in my classes since they already had those relationships built for two years before I came. However, I made good friends with other American students who were also studying there and we did a lot of activities together and traveled a bunch. It was good to find people I could relate to.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I did not have any physical health care appointments but I did meet with an on campus mental health care professional and it was terrible. They did not seem to care about my problems and said that there wasn't any point in me scheduling more appointments because they were booked and by the time I got in, there would only be a few weeks left in the semester.

* Safety:

I never felt unsafe on campus or in Winchester.

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

Even though I had issues, the program, location, experience overshadowed those problems. If I had been better prepared for the academics, it would have been lots better.


* 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)

I thought it was pretty easy to budget. I received many scholarships to finance my housing, travel and living expenses so I didn't have to worry about that. I just worked a lot the summer before to save for extra things I wanted to do and gifts/souvenirs I wanted to buy.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? Roughly $50 a week. Sometimes it was more, sometimes less. It just depended on what I wanted to do and where I was.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Write out a budget and stick to it. I didn't have a budget in mind and kind of just spent what I had, it wasn't very organized.


* 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

  • Local 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?
  • Location
* What could be improved?
  • Academic Preperation
  • Support for International Students
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I knew how hard the time difference would be in communicating with my family members and loved ones, that made my homesickness worse. I also wish I knew how the academics worked as well as what grading system they used and what to expect there.

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.