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Student Experience

 

Jaclyn Foreman
De Montfort University
Leicester, England
Fall 2011


Jaclyn Foreman- photoWhen I first applied to study abroad, I was aware that I would be the only student from ECU to study at De Montfort that semester. At first, it frightened me because I would be on my own. However, once I arrived at the university, the staff was nothing short of accommodating. There was a coach to pick me up from their airport that would take me straight to my on-campus flat. The university also supplied the international students with bedding, a few toiletry essentials, and small supply of food until we could buy some on our own. Being on my own, I was nervous about making friends, as I’m not the most outgoing person. Once I had gotten settled in my flat, I met a local student who was helping the international students arrive, and he introduced me to three other international students who happened to be from Florence, South Carolina. The three students, Ashley, Shawn, and Liz, lived in my flat building and Ashley was one of my four roommates in my flat. After we met, we were all inseparable. Since we were all in a foreign place with only each other to rely on for ties to home, we became very, very close friends. We once took a weekend trip to London to get away and see some sights, as well as a few plays and musicals.

Luckily, the school set up a few cheap, weekend trips themselves. The international students, including myself, were able to travel to Stratford-Upon-Avon (where Shakespeare grew up), the town of Oxford and Oxford University, and Warwick Castle. While we were there, we were free to travel around to our heart’s content, as long as we were back on the coach by the designated departure time. I was incredibly lucky to be able to travel to these famous and historic locations for less than twenty American dollars.

At ECU, I’m a Secondary English Education major, so the classes I took while at De Montfort University were all English and Literature classes. I had a total of four classes while abroad. Adjusting to the differences in education between America and England was tough for a few weeks. Every class day I would notice differences in curriculum, class proceedings, as well as requirements for papers and essays. Whenever I would have difficulty or questions on my papers, I would ask the professors and they would do all that they could in order to help me adjust. The professors were very accommodating with the fact that I was an international student, and the other students also offered to help with any problems that I was having in class.

This opportunity of studying abroad allowed me to gain some cultural experience, learn about subjects in class that I hadn’t studied before, and gain three lifelong friends that I still see on the weekends. I wouldn’t trade this experience for the world and would recommend studying abroad to anyone who asked or had doubts about going abroad.