As someone who had always admired the United Kingdom, the prospect of studying there had been a long-standing dream of mine. However, for a time, it seemed like an unattainable goal. Despite having previously visited the country and been enamoured with its beauty and culture, I couldn't fathom how to make this dream a reality. That all changed when I discovered that the field I aspired to study was predominantly offered in the UK. Suddenly, my lifelong ambition felt within reach, and I was determined to make it happen. With the invaluable assistance of our facilitator from Across the Pond, I was able to turn my aspirations into tangible goals. Furthermore, studying in the UK presented a unique opportunity to sharpen my English skills, which I knew would be a valuable asset in my future career.
Looking back on my year of studying in the UK, I am filled with profound gratitude and awe. The experience was nothing less than unforgettable. One of the most exhilarating aspects of my time there was the opportunity to meet and learn from people worldwide. Interacting with individuals from diverse backgrounds and cultures allowed me to broaden my horizons and gain valuable insights into the world around me. Despite the differences in our upbringings and experiences, we all shared similar aspirations and goals, which was a humbling realisation.
In addition, studying in the UK allowed me to practice and improve my English skills in a way that wouldn't have been possible elsewhere. Being immersed in an environment where English is the primary language allowed me to learn about various accents and variations, which was incredibly helpful. Accessing such a wide range of educational opportunities and resources was a privilege. There was always something new to explore and learn, and I felt incredibly fortunate to have been given the chance to do so.
All in all, studying in the UK was an incredible adventure that I will always cherish. It allowed me to grow personally and academically, and I will always be grateful for the experience.
I consciously decided to attend Roehampton University in London due to its vast array of psychology courses. Upon arrival, I was pleasantly surprised to discover a wealth of new therapy courses and other subjects that have always piqued my interest. Despite its lack of a central location, I genuinely appreciate the university's charm. The campus is enveloped by a verdant, forested area that offers picturesque views to explore and revel in. Moreover, the campus is located near Richmond, a quaint, picturesque area that provides a refreshing escape from the city's frenetic pace.
The campus boasts scenic ponds, charming ducks, verdant fields, and a blend of modern and Victorian buildings. I have used the library several times, which is impressive and well-equipped. I was pleasantly surprised that the student society is active and regularly organises diverse events for me.
Although I have yet to visit every facility on campus, my classmates have informed me that there are gyms, cafes, the Union pub, and other amenities that I have yet to explore.
Since my husband and I decided to live together, we knew we wanted to find a flat to accommodate us and our furry friend. Although many options were available, finding a place that met our needs proved challenging. After two weeks of searching, we were overjoyed to finally find a charming accommodation nestled by the river in a delightful neighbourhood. The flat may be small, but it offers everything we need, and lush green areas surround us, a common sight in London.
My daily commute to Uni is convenient and affordable, thanks to the nearby bus route. I've learned that some classmates are fortunate enough to live in Uni-provided housing or nearby. Still, it's been a relief to know that various options suit different preferences and budgets.
Having pursued my master's degree in Mexico, I've observed a few variances in the student lifestyle in the UK. The most notable one is the opportunity to collaborate with people from diverse backgrounds, experiences, and beliefs, making my classes all the more stimulating. Furthermore, my program is very hands-on, giving me a more practical understanding of my chosen career path.
Although the grading system and assessment criteria may vary, I've discovered that they ultimately enhance the calibre of my work beyond my initial expectations. I've also benefited from continuous guidance and feedback throughout the process, which has proved extremely helpful. The extension policy is notably lenient and prioritises maintaining good mental health, which I find quite commendable.
I am currently pursuing a master's degree in Play Therapy at Roehampton University, an opportunity that I consider myself incredibly fortunate to have. The course has been both challenging and fulfilling, as I have been exposed to various forms of therapy, such as art, drama, dance, and movement. This has significantly broadened my knowledge and expertise in the field.
The unique coursework comprises seminars, discussions, practical opportunities, and workshops, which have provided me with a comprehensive and diverse learning experience. Unlike my previous academic classes, this program focuses on an integrated therapy approach, allowing me to work with individuals holistically. This approach enables me to become the best therapist by incorporating my past experiences to enrich my practice.
Moreover, the course emphasises the significance of self-awareness and self-discovery as essential tools for responsible practice. This emphasis has been instrumental in my growth as a therapist, and I have learned to appreciate the importance of introspection in my line of work.
Despite its intensity, I would not have preferred any other course. The program has challenged me to go beyond my limits, and I am confident that it will equip me with the skills and knowledge necessary to impact my future practice positively.
Living in the bustling metropolis of London has been an exhilarating experience for me. The city offers many opportunities to explore and indulge in its diverse offerings. The feeling of exploring London is surreal, and the endless possibilities it presents are simply astounding. One of my favourite pastimes is trying out diverse cuisines worldwide, and I enjoy interacting with people from different backgrounds. Safety is paramount for me, and I feel secure walking around London's charming parks and streets.
London boasts numerous attractions besides its delightful green spaces, such as world-renowned theatres, museums, and sports venues. Whether you're passionate about attending large-scale events or prefer intimate gatherings tailored to your interests, London offers something for everyone. The city's endless array of exciting and lively activities ensures you will never run out of things to do. Still, if you prefer a more laid-back and peaceful time, you can easily find relaxation in its tranquil spaces.
My school experience has been unique, and living in a multicultural environment has been an incredibly exhilarating experience. It has allowed me to engage in various social activities outside of school, such as fairs and events, where I've had the opportunity to make new friends and have an absolute blast. Interestingly, I've realised that making new friends isn't as daunting as initially, which has opened up a whole new world of possibilities.
I feel incredibly grateful for the frequent public events like concerts and fairs throughout the year. They offer great chances to spend quality time with friends and opportunities to make new acquaintances. I adore the summer months when everyone seems to be outside having picnics and enjoying the beautiful weather. It's a fantastic time of year that I always look forward to.
Upon my arrival, my proficiency in English was decent. However, I had to undergo a period of adjustment to become accustomed to the diverse accents and colloquialisms. Consistently speaking in English was indeed tiring and required a significant amount of mental exertion. Nonetheless, with time, I adapted to the language. I take pride in the fact that I have made remarkable strides academically. Even though I did not utilise it, universities typically offer support for writing and language skills, especially those who hail from foreign countries or possess different mother tongues. My English has improved significantly, and I have gained a wealth of knowledge and insight by being exposed to different forms of English and accents from individuals from all corners of the globe. It is reassuring to know that everyone makes an effort to comprehend and communicate with one another.
A well-informed and seasoned individual's assistance and counsel can make a difference. I recall experiencing great anxiety surrounding the paperwork and communication with the university while residing in my home country. Nevertheless, our esteemed consultant from Across the Pond, consistently demonstrated kindness and helpfulness towards addressing our concerns. This instilled a sense of reassurance and confidence throughout the process. I am genuinely grateful for our exceptional support and strongly recommend it to anyone seeking guidance in similar circumstances.
For as long as I can remember I’ve wanted to study abroad. At the age of 16 when I began my first job and received my first paycheck, I put it in the bank immediately, saving for the day I had an opportunity to travel and live abroad. In high school, I traveled to the Amazon Rainforest on a trip with my Ecology Class. Throughout childhood, I traveled with my family to France, Iceland and across the United States. Then, after saving for four years, I got on a plane and moved to Aix-En-Provence in the south of France for a semester abroad. The experience was all I hoped for. Having gotten a taste of what life in Europe was like, I decided to apply to graduate school in the United Kingdom.
Why did I choose London out of all the amazing cities in the United Kingdom? There are many reasons as to why London was where I decided to make my home while I was studying my Master’s. Firstly, I chose London because I had visited it. Even though I was only here for a week, I absolutely fell in love with the city (especially a nice afternoon tea!). As I was looking at universities to pursue my Master’s, I had to consider where I felt as though I could make a life for myself while I was at university. As I had already visited London and felt a strong connection with the city, I knew studying at a university in London would be the right choice.
Another reason I chose London is because there are six major airports in London. As you can tell from what I’ve said about traveling to the Amazon Rainforest, Iceland, and France, I’ve got the travel bug. As London has six major airports, it makes it easy for me to continue to travel and explore the world, something that is very important to me. Finally, I chose London because of everything London has to offer. Whether you are someone who likes a cozy day at a museum, someone who loves theater, or someone who likes to dance the night away, there are options for you. For example, I am someone who loves museums and there are more than 170 different museums for me to explore here (and most of them are free!). Having options for a fun day or night out that did not involve just going out for drinks or going out clubbing were important to me, and I found that London was the perfect place for that.
There were many factors which went into my decision for choosing the University of Roehampton (UoR). UoR is nestled in Southwest London makes it relatively easy to get to the heart of the city while still being able to enjoy the nature and quiet of the suburbs.
Growing up in the suburbs of Massachusetts, I grew up surrounded by nature and quiet neighborhoods. My undergraduate degree, which I completed at Fairfield University in Fairfield Connecticut, was very similar location wise to the area I had grown up in. In other words, for the first twenty two years of my life, the only experience I had in a city was short weekend trips to New York City or a day trip into Boston. The weekends I spent in New York City or days in Boston I always enjoyed, but at the end of the day I was always happy to go back to my sleepy little town or the quiet of my dorm room. All of this being said, I enjoy what cities have to offer. From aquariums and museums to clubs and fantastic restaurants. This is why I decided to make Southwest London my home because it would allow me to live the best of both worlds. Not only, could I enjoy the quiet streets of Roehampton and afternoon strolls in Richmond Park, but I could also escape into Central London to experience the city.
As previously mentioned, I come from a suburb in the United States which means I’m not used to a concrete jungle like Central London. One of my favorite things about UoR is the green space around campus. Unlike many other universities in London, UoR has lawns, ponds, and even an old orchard. On the main campus, walking between Frobel and Digby Stuart, you can walk by Frobel Lake and past the old orchard. On Whitelands, you can gaze out on the large lawn and see students picnic between classes or play football to pass the time. Not only does it remind me of home, sitting outside on the beautiful green lawn between classes gives me a chance to breathe in some fresh air and enjoy the outdoors.
So why specifically did I choose to study Forensic Psychology at UoR? Aside from all the reasons I fell in love with UoR such as the proximity to London and the green space, I chose UoR because of the strength of the program. UoR is ranked 5th in London for Psychology, demonstrating how strong the psychology department truly is. Additionally, the MSc Forensic Psychology program at UoR only takes a year to complete if you are full time. As part of the program, you are taught how to design and run your own research in an area of your interest. This is a great opportunity to build your resume and to grow professionally as well. You have the opportunity to learn different programs such as Qualtrics or SPSS, programs which are widely used in the research world. You also work alongside a professor who is a specialist in their field and potentially the topic you’re interested in exploring, giving you a chance to learn from an expert.
Finding a place to live is one of the most important things to do as where you live helps you settle in and make anyplace new your home. Having completed my undergraduate degree in the USA and living on-campus in dorms throughout that time, I decided that I wanted to live off-campus for my Master’s degree. As I had lived with my parents for the first eighteen years of my life and in university dorms for another four years, I had absolutely no clue how to go about renting my first place. Thankfully, I discovered University of Roehampton had an Off-campus Accommodation Officer. Additionally, they had a page on their website which displayed listings of different flats in the nearby area whose landlords had the Roehampton stamp of approval. This made the whole process of finding a place to live in another country significantly less stressful as I knew I had someone I could go to with any questions regarding housing laws or any issues with my landlord.
The flat I rented was located just five minutes from campus and was a lovely little four bedroom, two bathroom, one kitchen/living room house share. As I had found a landlord through the university, everyone I was living with were students of UoR or recent graduates or UoR. This was great because it gave us the ability to bond over a collective experience and an identity as UoR students.
My bedroom was a small single bed (meaning a twin bed) by the front door of the flat and under the stairs which I loving referred to as my “Harry Potter Room.” Upon first arriving to the flat, I remember experiencing absolute culture shock as accommodation outside the USA is very different from what many of us were used to. The room was smaller than I had originally realized, under the stairs, and had the radiator still in it for the entire flat. Across the hall, there was a bathroom the size of a closet with a toilet and a shower. It took a bit of time to get used to it all, but soon enough I found myself loving how cozy and comforting my “Harry Potter Room” was and enjoyed being the only one brave enough to use the compact shower across the hall from my room. Despite the fact the flat as a whole was much smaller than what a typical American apartment would be for four people, it did the trick. Furthermore, I would say the size of it made our flat even closer and kept it cozy in the cold winter months.
Moving to another country and experiencing culture shock when it comes to social norms or the language in which people use can be a lot, so it’s good to know what to expect when it comes to studying in a different country to avoid academic culture shock.
Firstly, the language which is used when it comes to your academics is different. is a list of common USA academic phrases and their United Kingdom equivalent:
Secondly, how you receive your final grade/mark is determined differently. From my experience in high school and undergraduate university in the USA, your grades are determined by a large amount of coursework over the entity of that class. For example, in my Social Psychology course during my undergraduate degree, I had a total of four different tests and weekly homework assignments which made up my entire grade. In the United Kingdom, you have less homework which is checked and graded, therefore, a majority of your grade hinges on big projects and tests.
Finally, not only are grades determined differently, the grade scale is different as well. In the USA, if you receive a 77% that is the equivalent of a C or C+. However, in the United Kingdom that same 77% is actually a fantastic grade and is closer to an A or higher. This can be challenging to comprehend at first as getting a 60% in the USA is often disappointing but getting a 60% in the United Kingdom is great. Understanding this can save you a lot of stress
What I truly love about London is that I can always find something to do. Personally, I am more of a museum type of person, meaning I have taken great advantage of the free museums (Natural History, Victoria and Albert, Science Museum, Wallace Collection, National Gallery, etc.). Did you know there are more than 170 different museums in London? That means there’s always a lot to learn and see! Each museum also does some amazing late night events which bring together the best of both worlds. The Science Museum, for instance, stays open late one Thursday a month and it adults only! They offer lecturers, free roaming the exhibits, drinks, and more. Similarly, the Natural History Museum hosts different events outside of normal museum hours such as a silent disco under the famous blue whale skeleton
If my friends and I are not at a museum, you can often find us at the theater. London is the perfect place for those who love theater and musicals. Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre located in Central London performs Shakespeare’s works sometimes with a twist and is my favorite place to go see a performance. The best part is, tickets are cheap and student friendly! Groundling tickets (meaning you’re standing throughout the show) are only £5 and offer a fun and sometimes interactive experience. What I truly love about seeing a Shakespeare performance in the standing room only area is that you are watching it as Shakespeare intended! It’s amazing to be transported back in time and dive into stories that have been told over and over again.
If I’m not studying, exploring London, or traveling elsewhere, then you can find me working. There are plenty of part time jobs and internships available in a city like London. During my Master’s program, I worked part-time at a local café as well as a Student Ambassador at UoR. The great thing about both these jobs is that they were flexible and allowed me to make some money so that I could go and enjoy London. Additionally, both jobs were ones where I was surrounded by locals, and therefore, it helped me adapt and assimilate into life here in London.
Personally, I believe studying outside of the country you grew up in is an amazing opportunity. Taking a step to move across the ocean and start a new life is a big one and it certainly puts you outside of your comfort zone. However, outside of your comfort zone is where you have the most room to grow. Plus, when else in your life are you going to be able to pick up everything and move across the world to explore another culture?
I did not originally choose to study in London. I started at a university in America before deciding to transfer once I studied abroad for 3 months. I loved the diversity on campus, the freedom that came from living in a different country, and the opportunities it opened up for me career-wise. For context, I am studying nursing, so once I graduate I will have the ability to work in the US and the UK if I so please.
I love that there is public transportation so that you can get around with ease, and the cost of grocery shopping is low in comparison to the US right now. The nightlife is also amazing. If you’re not into partying, there are so many options available to you. Just taking a trip down to central at night and walking around is an experience. What I don’t love about London is that, despite my saying that groceries are cheap, the city itself can be quite expensive. As a university student and international student, the amount of time I can work personally is restricted to 20 hours, so if I planned on self-paying, the money to support myself would have to come from outside sources as well.
Living on campus is automatically the cheapest option for people studying as international students. The rent includes utilities, and there are washers and dryers on campus. While they differ in quality based on the amount paid, they are still good quality from an objective standpoint. There’s also the option of having your own bathroom, but areas such as the kitchen and the living room are shared. Also, Roehampton allows you to choose who you want to live with. Lastly, if an issue arises in the flat, such as a clogged drain, there is a website where you can submit a ticket for that issue and a litany of other issues or questions that don’t pertain to accommodation.
As an American, I am used to a large workload in terms of tests and homework. There is not a bunch of tests. There is homework, however it is not graded. This makes some people view this as optional, so you must hold yourself accountable to get the reading or work done. The lecturers are nice and will follow up with you to ensure that you have what you need. They are also good at accommodating personal issues or learning disabilities. As a nursing student, I have classes most days of the week, and then I have 6 or 7-week-long clinical placements. The dedicated time off to catch up on reading on complete assignments is also amazing. The only issue I might have is the ease of the course during the first year. It gives a false sense of security to students that results in constant questions that have already been answered, and unneeded confusion on tasks that are supposed to be “easy”.
Right next to the campus is Richmond Park. It is so beautiful, and I love to put in my earphones and go for walks there to clear my mind. If I don’t feel like studying in my dorm, I can hop on one of the buses (there is a bus stop right outside the university) and go to a nearby cafe. There are tons in Richmond and Putney. I also like to read, and the campus has a lot of green areas that you can sit in and relax if the weather permits. On weekends, I do enjoy going to a cocktail bar, which there are also plenty of in Putney, which is about a 10-minute bus ride from campus, give or take depending on time and traffic. If I don’t want to spend money, I will just get together with my friends on campus and go to the bar on campus. The bar on campus regularly holds things such as quiz night and karaoke, which do not cost to go to.
The only complaint I have is that the university does take a while to respond to some issues, even ones that are time-constrained, which can be very stressful. This previous year when I moved there officially, I was in continuous contact with the university to get the documents needed to start my visa process, which is also time-constrained. There was a major delay in the area for me personally. Lastly, there was an issue with students from the US receiving their financial aid. Instead of receiving my financial aid in September/October, I received it in the middle of November, which caused obvious issues with the cost of living.
As a person coming to study abroad, I wish I had travelled more. Skyscanner is an amazing website that shows low-cost flights to places within Europe and elsewhere. As a person who is now an international student going to university full-time from America, I will say to research financial aid before you decide this is an option for you. Personally, the nursing courses at Roehampton are not eligible for federal funding, so that means private loans would be your next and only option if you do not have support from family or a sponsor. There are a few scholarships for students from the US studying permanently in the UK, but they are hard to find. I will also say to get a railcard. It will pay for itself in maybe 2 to 3 trips, and depending on where you are travelling, it might pay for itself in one trip. Lastly, if you need a job, check with campus resources first, and see if you can get a job on campus. They will accommodate your studies and other engagements better than an outside job would usually.
After finishing my undergraduate degrees in sociology and politics, I felt lost, confused, and without a clue as to what to do afterwards. I decided to try out different career options like working as a study abroad advisor for my previous university, a barista at Starbucks, and even a production assistant in Hollywood, but nothing stuck until I tagged along a family member’s work holiday in a big city. My experience in such a bustling and diverse environment rekindled my passion to travel for the purpose of learning from and helping others, and I was reminded that more possibilities for positive change existed outside of my stagnant hometown. Of all the cities to settle in, I chose London merely because I’ve always had an inexplicable fascination with the city when I first visited at the young age of ten. Growing up and learning more about it just increased my desire to live here more.
After the long and arduous process of applying to different London universities, I was surprised to receive an offer letter to study an MSc in Psychology and a scholarship for academic excellence from the University of Roehampton! Such a proposition was too enticing for me to pass up, so I took it, ran, and still haven’t looked back. And after accepting the university’s offer, I have received invaluable support from everyone in my expatriation to the UK from even before my arrival to now. Amanda from the USA Roehampton Team has worked above and beyond by helping me navigate the chaotic labyrinth that was the visa application process through an innumerable amount of email correspondence and calls; meeting up with us in person soon after our arrival to make sure we were adjusting well; and even making us aware of this opportunity to submit our student experiences to Across the Pond!
Additionally, the Roehampton Student Wellbeing Team as a whole has been extremely supportive in my venture towards becoming a psychotherapist in the UK. Donny has been an extraordinarily flexible and understanding line manager in helping me receive a uniquely tailored experience by encouraging candour and honesty from me about my interests and goals. Jo shared with me the path she took to receive her recent psychotherapy licence and even helped me map out from scratch the different paths I can take towards becoming a psychotherapist while simultaneously funding this endeavour. And Jen has been able to provide an empathetic safe space for me to share with her any extraneous concerns I may face when I feel like others are unable to understand or relate. Moreover, Maxina from the Accommodation Office has fully become my legal counsel for flat hunting to continue my stay here in London even after I finish my course. She made it her personal mission to pull strings looking for any leads on suitable accommodation in addition to having helped me weed out a handful of shady rental agreements. To top everything off, Maxina has shown genuine passion for my wellbeing as I’ve observed from her visible upset at landlords trying to take advantage of my situation as an international student. Overall, these anecdotes are only a few examples of the sincere care and support I’ve received from the University of Roehampton, and I’ve never before felt so prepared for the future.
Studying abroad has been one of the best decisions I have done in my life. Starting at high school I did a foreign exchange program to the USA where I had one of the best years in my life. Moving back home was great, but I was still eager to experience more. Therefore, I decided that I wanted to study abroad for my undergrad degree and ended up in The Netherlands. Again, moving back home was great but I still felt that I was not finished with experiencing the student life abroad. I decided to do a postgraduate degree in London, England. After having several years of studying abroad and the best time of my life doing that, I had high expectations. I have had a great time in London during my postgraduate degree, but it was different than what I expected. I ended up in a class with only 8 people who already had a settled life in the UK with a job and their own life. None of my classmates lived on campus and was often busy with their own lives. Therefore, it was a bit tough in the beginning to meet new people and socialise.
Doing studies abroad teaches you a lot. It teaches you to be openminded, curious, independent and you grow a lot personally. However, being a foreigner in a new country can be difficult. But I thought it is only me, myself, and I that could do something with my social life. I needed to show interest in meeting new people and get myself out there. I love sports and was very pleased that the university offered various sports or social communities to join. I ended up with playing rugby for the school team and was lucky to meet a fantastic group of people that made my stay in the UK a lot better. So, if you like sports and want to get to know people, I highly recommend you looking into this if you ever decide to study abroad.
Another thing to mention that I feel is important to say is “just do it”. If you think about studying abroad and have a small feeling that it could be something that you want to do, just do it. It is better to regret the things you have done, rather than regret the things you have not done. I have never studied in Norway before, so it is difficult to compare studying in Norway compared with abroad. What I can say is that it sucks to leave your friends at home, but you will for sure meet some great, new people and make friends for life. Also, English is not my first language, but moving to an English-speaking country where you are forced to speak English most of the time, you get into the transition quickly. Additionally, you end up with an experience for life and you will for sure meet other students that study abroad where you can share your experience with, helping each other through tough times as they understand how it is to live far away from family and friends.
I ended up at Roehampton University because of the course I wanted to take and the location. I did a MSc in Sports and Exercise Psychology, and Roehampton was the University with the course and location that fitted best with my wishes. The campus was great, old but great. It was quite big and had 4 colleges within the university. The facilities were not the same standard as back home in Norway, but I feel that it is something you get used to. The university had a lot of old buildings and different architecture than back home in Norway which was fascinating and cool. It is always exciting with a change in scenery from what you are used to.
I wanted to do MSc course because I wanted to gain more knowledge about sports psychology. I have an undergraduate degree in physiotherapy and during the years of working I saw how important the connection between body and mind were. I experienced a lot of patients coming to me with physical problems, but after history taking and assessment some of the cases ended up being from psychological issues experienced in their daily life. I had psychology during my undergrad, but I felt it was not enough. I was scared to approach the patients and saying that the cause of your issues stem from your mental health. I have also worked with a lot of sports clubs and various patients. Psychology and mental health are important to be able to function properly and are in line with your physical health. Therefore, I wanted to learn more about psychology to better help my patients, not just physically but also psychologically. The course I ended up with was amazing. I had great lecturers which were really good, and I learned a lot. As my idea was to combine this course with my physiotherapy degree, I sometimes felt that some of the modules or lectures were not applicable to me as they were directed to doing stage two of becoming a sports psychologist.
Doing a postgraduate degree meant that I only had lectures twice a week. It led to having a lot of spare time which of course most of the time ended up at the library. The library was huge, it had a cafeteria, and great facilities to study. When not being in the library studying, I tried to find something social that I liked to do. What you do in your spare time is very individual. People like different things and are amazed by different things. So, what I like to do is probably not something other people like to do, but here goes my story and experience:
I love to travel, experience new places, cultures, and meet new people. I started my stay in London with exploring the town I lived in and of course London city mostly by myself. Meet new people and becoming friends might take some time, but I enjoyed my small trips here and there and was able to explore a lot of nice, beautiful areas. As the time went by, I found myself some nice people to hang out with. Unfortunately, all undergraduate students that had way more lectures than me so I had more spare time, but we still managed to go for walks, go into London and explore the city, we went into different cafes, museums, and tried to see as much as we possibly could.
I ended up staying at the university accommodation. As mentioned earlier, the UK standard is not the same as in Norway. I shared a flat with 9 other people where all of us shared the same kitchen. Luckily, I had flatmates that did not cook very often so the kitchen was somewhat clean most of the time. Of course, it was times when you entered the kitchen and it either smelled horrible or was really dirty. But it is what it is. My room was alright even though I had to do a deep cleaning when I arrived because it did not look very nice. Especially the floor carpet that had a lot of stains. Otherwise, I had my own room and bathroom which was small but good. The costs, however, was expensive. But I guess if you decide to study in London, it is what it is, but again, do not think too much, just do what you want to do and do the best out of things.
London is great. I love London. There are always things to explore and see as the city is huge! They have a lot of free museums for those who like that, and attractions such as Madame Tussauds, London eye, Big Ben, Harry Potter attractions, Notting Hill, Paddington and so on. Additionally, the culture and the people are always nice and if you are lost and ask for directions, there is always someone there to help.
Before and during my application, I checked out the University’s webpage to get information regarding the course I applied for. There was a lot of good information there, but it was not everything I wanted to know. I wanted to know more about the course itself such as more information regarding the modules I was going to have and exams, assignments, and the dissertation related to the course. Also, to get access to the webpage before the beginning of the semester would be great to start reading up on everything you wanted before the course started. So, there was a little lack of information from the university. Arriving in London and at the campus not knowing anything was a bit difficult and scary. Luckily, I met great people there when I arrived who helped me show where I could collect the key to my room, showed me where my room was, and also who I could contact to get more information.
One day I randomly googled studying in England and courses to take. I came across “Across the Pond” and checked out the webpage. I sent in an application and was contacted by an advisor. I then decided to apply through Across the Pond and I found the application process very easy. I had one person to help me we with all information and documents needed for my application and was very pleased with the service received and I am pretty sure that was way easier than doing it all by myself. Additionally, it was free of charge, and you get help with writing your Personal Statement and help you make your documents into even better versions! So, I am very pleased that I ended up with applying though Across the Pond.
My mom studied in London when she was my age and I grew up hearing stories of how magical and exciting it is. It has always been a dream of mine to explore and travel like she did, so once I had the opportunity I took it. Studying in London has been transformative for me. It definitely took a moment to adjust but in comparison to America, schooling is much more affordable and international. I have met people from all over the globe and have been able to learn so much from each experience.
When researching Universities my mom and I came across Roehampton and quickly fell in love with what it offered. One of the reasons it was so interesting to me was the fact that I did not have to take any general education classes, i.e math, science, language, etc. Instead I would have the chance to solely focus on my major. This is very rarely the case in America so this was exciting to me. I was also able to study two subjects simultaneously which was something I was seeking out. Furthermore, one of the biggest selling points was the fact that I did not have to have a roommate and would only have to share a kitchen. The reality of my course was not what I expected and I would recommend applying to schools outside of this one, especially if you are looking to pursue arts, but it still has redeeming qualities.
First year is very exciting because there is a week-long period to party before lectures start called, “Freshers Week”. Most London universities participate in this, including Roehampton and hold events on campus, like fairs on the lawn and silent discos. This is the perfect time to make friends and put yourself out there. Outside of the University, clubs all around the city put on big events for all of the new and current Uni students to celebrate the start of the new academic year. At the beginning everyone is very friendly because they are all in the same boat as you, so don’t be afraid to introduce yourself! Stay true to your values but also be open to new experiences. It is a great time for self exploration and growth. In my personal experience, a lot of people formed cliques after the first year and people I was once close with began to fade out of my life if it wasn't implied. Be mindful of who is genuine and spend time with those who have your best interest in mind! I think it is also very important to go to a Uni with a good social space, like a common room or dining hall. My uni lacks that and people often don’t go to the university organized events so I think that's a big factor as to why many students became more reclusive.
I have enjoyed my experience in my accom. The room is a decent size, there is a very spacious desk, big window, and nice bathroom. I chose Elm Grove, which is one of the only accoms on my campus where you are given your own bathroom. I am very appreciative of this, it is a bit more expensive but I believe it is worth it. The room doors lock as well as the hall door and that adds a very nice layer of protection, everything is accessed via key card. I recommend bringing a mattress pad or comfy blankets/pillows because the bare mattress isn't super comfortable. You can find mattress pads for pretty cheap on Amazon. Also make sure to bring decorations with you that will create a more home like space. I brought lots of pictures, posters and lights and it really adds to the room, you have so much opportunity to customize it and express yourself so I recommended putting in the time to make the room special, it helps with the homesickness. In addition, the kitchen has limited space but everyone should always have a few cabinets, a shelf in the fridge and a drawer in the freezer. It has huge windows and comfy chairs which I love, and again is a really fun space to decorate, which could be a good bonding activity with your flatmates. Furthermore, a big issue I faced throughout my time in Uni so far is stealing. There is often someone in the flat who tries to be sneaky and causes drama. Get ahead of this and label your things and buy kitchenware that is unique to you so it doesn't get mixed up. You can always talk to wardens and the heads of accommodation if anything like this becomes a problem. It is hard to share a space with strangers but it is a good experience to have.
The biggest differences between Uni in England vs America is the tuition, the length of the program, the amount of lectures and the break time given. My course is only 3 years which was a pleasant surprise to me, all of my friends in school in the US are in 4 year programs. I am so excited to finish earlier because it will allow me to have my 20s to build my career. The amount of lectures per week is much more manageable and each lecture only occurs once a week. I always have a day or two off during the week which gives a lot more free time to get projects done, go to work and to explore the city. And in terms of breaks, we are given reading weeks, which are week long breaks to work on our projects but a lot of students use that time to travel as well. Christmas break is a little over a month long and the school year starts later and ends earlier in comparison to American schools. I am always less stressed than my American friends and am given more time on my assignments which I really appreciate. The tuition is also a quarter of American tuition which is another huge benefit. I’d say overall it is a great choice to choose the U.K. but if you are interested in fraternities/sororities and want the chance to explore more subjects throughout University, I don’t recommend it.
London is a magical location to experience this time in your life. I have had so many peak moments and have really found myself here. I love live music and nightlife and have found a huge community of people to experience those things with. Every night of the week there will be something to do, whether that's a jazz show or an art exhibition. The price of things can be intimidating but there are plenty of free and affordable things to do, you just have to search for them. I have spent many days at all of the beautiful parks the city has to offer which is completely free of charge, besides transportation. I have also found organizations that put on free raves, as well as, free art exhibitions. Most museums in the city also offer free entry, which is great. There is food from every corner of the world and wonderful and accessible transportation to take you to all of these places. The UK is also a great place to be if you are interested in traveling to Europe, airlines like Ryanair offer really cheap flights to a plethora of European countries. I have also had a lot of fun becoming more familiar with so many different backgrounds and cultures. The first friends I made were from everywhere from France to India. I highly recommend studying here because even if the University isn't exactly what you hoped for, the city will open up so many opportunities for you.
The last thing I want to touch in is the visa process. There were points where I wanted to give up going through this process but ultimately it was worth it. It takes a lot of paperwork, money and patience. Sometimes the steps are unclear but I recommend communicating with your school as much as possible and don't be afraid to ask questions. Also get in contact with other international students because it is comforting and helpful knowing people going through the same thing as you. Be prepared and keep all of the information organized. I wish all incoming international students the best of luck!!
I have had a dream of living abroad for most of my life and three years ago, decided to take the plunge to apply to graduate school in a foreign country. During my time in the USA, I had lived in all different regions of the country, but eventually I wanted to challenge myself by living in an entirely new place. I am an American artist and knew I wanted to work as an art therapist, applying my love of creativity with a helping profession. After doing research, I realized the UK had many Art Psychotherapy programs and that there was no fee to apply. Furthermore, I found Across the Pond services and linked up with a representative who helped me through the application process. I applied to five graduate schools and chose to study at Roehampton University because it was in an idyllic part of London and had a wide offering of creative play therapy programs. I was drawn to the ideas of the culture, food, art, music, and history in London. London ended up far exceeding my expectations!
I arrived in the UK sight unseen, never having been to Europe, overjoyed and excited to begin my course. My visa had been delayed and I had a flight rescheduled, but staff at Roehampton and Across the Pond helped me through the process. Knowing no one in a new country, I opted to live in the dorms.
My campus was gorgeous. I lived near a chicken coop and visited the ducks and wildlife on the university’s ponds. One time I even saw a swan! I learned all about how swans in England were protected property of the Queen and spent time strolling along small bridges looking at the rivers. Many of the graduate students in my accommodation were also visa holders, so they would make Spanish tortilla or other dishes from their home countries. I learned a lot about the world through food and conversation. It was also convenient that the library was around the corner for late night study sessions.
One thing I really loved about my course at Roehampton was my fellow cohort of students. My British friends taught me all the local slang and took me to a diner to try a proper full English breakfast. My program was filled with interesting people from a variety of backgrounds who brought their unique passion for creativity and caregiving to their studies. We made collaborative art in varied workshops and practiced a group therapy dynamic that lasted for weeks and led to interesting discoveries. I had to adjust to the grading system and realize it was on a very different scale than what I knew of in America. Additionally, a lot of the university work was very self-guided. A big lesson from the course was sitting with uncertainty, especially when the university changed the program requirements for future students. Our tutors were invested in student success and did a great job guiding my class throughout this process. Friday studio days were fun. A small group of students brought snacks and worked on independent projects or the solo painting project we worked on throughout the year. I had the opportunity to work on a placement at a secondary school, counselling teenagers and learning about the intricacies of the British education system. All the relationships I made during this time were invaluable.
There were so many unexpected things about British culture, history, and architecture that I found charming. I enjoyed the fresh food and grocery shopping at the co-ops. Some of my best friends were Irish and had me over to their home for a Sunday roast. I was able to take two train trips to Brighton, the LGBTQ+ capital of the UK. We went to pubs, clubs, and hung out on the rock covered beaches. In my spare time from uni, I traveled to different parts of Europe I had never been, including Germany, Italy, and France. I was impressed by how many UNESCO World Heritage sites I had learned about in primary school and then saw on my travels. I was able to visit the Louvre, Uffizi, and Jewish Museum and take in so much art and world history. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity for a girl from cornfields of the Midwest.
Travel was a large part of my education alongside my studies. I loved attending Pride in Paris and London. I felt very safe in the UK, as gun violence was not an issue. I was impressed by laws being implemented to strive for equality and climate consciousness. Though life grew to be busy as a grad student, I felt very much at ease in Europe. My father was diagnosed with cancer toward the end of my first year of university. After a trip home, I chose to defer for another year. The university assisted me in this process. I will be returning this autumn and I can’t wait; it is a place I have fallen in love with. Across the Pond is helping me make sure I have all the important pieces in order. I am forever thankful for their assistance, as I was an older student returning to graduate school and I have had a remarkable experience. My dream is to finish my degree and practice art therapy in the UK, hopefully building a home in Europe for as long as possible. Ideally, I will be able to work with a variety of populations within the NHS and outside charities to give people the gift of using creativity therapeutically. I feel fortunate to have taken this risk and for all the assistance in my journey of pursuing my goals and education.
I found my entire time studying abroad to be life-changing. London, England is a whole new world in itself; with a much different culture, architecture, and atmosphere than my hometown of Austin, Texas. I choose to study at the University of Roehampton in London because it is a partner university that my home institution had worked with previously and I knew our education standards were similar; so the transition would be made slightly easier. Upon arriving at the University of Roehampton I was greeted by study abroad staff who lived in London for many years, they were kind and helpful when introducing us to our new home. As a political science major, I knew I wanted to indulge myself in the British world of politics, and at the time of my arrival, I was thrown into the political arena! At the time of my arrival, the Queen had just passed and the country was going through Prime Minister changes. These events encouraged me to stay focused on my mission of attaining as much knowledge on the politics of the country. I had the privilege to visit the Houses of Parliament at Westminster and attended a debate as well as joined political activists in a March against greenhouse emissions. Being in London was surreal to me, as the city is the epicenter of world culture, architecture, history and so much more! I knew I wanted to be involved within the city and travel to the surrounding areas to gain a better insight into England and the UK as a whole.
Throughout my time, I made many local friends who were more than happy to take me around London and to their hometowns to give me a taste of what their lives were like before moving to “London Town.” I had the chance to visit the quaint city of Bicester by train. Coming from the US, this was a new experience for me as I'm so used to driving everywhere. I must admit, I had an emotional moment on the way; I was able to sit and view the countryside. Taking this all in made me appreciate the opportunity I had been given as many people back home would and will not have the pleasure to view England's countryside, though it's something that we talked about in school and viewed on television. Another opportunity I am greatly thankful for was the opportunity to stay in the picture-perfect town of Lewes, England. When I received an extremely joyful invitation from my friend and her parents to stay with them over the break. I knew this was a special moment I would remember for the rest of my life. My entire time at their welcoming home was full of cultural exchanges, more than I had ever experienced in my life. I was introduced to marmalade, meat pies, Yorkshire puddings and so much more! We also discussed the politics of our countries and found we all share similar values and goals for the world that include inclusivity and equality. I stay in contact with my friend and her family to this day! I will forever cherish the memories and exchanges we shared, I could not have asked for a better family to invite me into their home.
I realized how much, not just the town of Lewes but the whole of the country felt like a home to me. Even in my accommodation, which was located on the ground floor of a 3 story building in a small complex on campus, I felt that I could be comfortable just as I would in my home back in the States. Though I shared a space with 3 other roommates, I befriended them and we got along so well that we had scheduled dinner nights every week. We'd cook tacos in our shared kitchen and recalled stories of our hometowns, this was made special by the fact that we were each from different countries! The exposure to different cultures like this was something I hadn't experienced before as I came from South Texas, which is predominantly Hispanic. I enjoyed our late-night talks and going to the local pub and discussed our stress levels for upcoming assignments and papers.
While at the University of Roehampton, the most noticeable difference in my education was that I only had class twice a week. This gave me a large chunk of free time during the week to complete assignments and travel. Most assignments were writing papers, which I love, and in-class discussions, in which I excel. My favorite course was my Political Philosophy class which focused on philosophers and their thoughts on politics, religion, and mankind. My professor, from Paris, was passionate about teaching and ensuring we understood the class discourse as well as our research paper, so he scheduled mandatory one-on-one meetings to ensure our readiness. We met through Zoom while I was visiting Paris and we discussed my research paper as well as places to visit in Paris. He understood the needs I had, as a study abroad student: getting accustomed to the grading system, academic practices, and of course indulging in my host country.
Though my time in London was limited, the memories are forever engrained and have become a part of who I am. The friends I made will always have a special place in my heart and I will continue to have contact with them, hoping to one day see them again; either in their home countries or in mine! I am thankful for the opportunity to study abroad and am entirely grateful to my home institution, St. Edward's University for encouraging me to explore. I couldn't have chosen a better host institution, the University of Roehampton, with its smaller campus size allowing me to meet and mingle with individuals from across the world with varying and insightful perspectives.
Let me introduce myself. I am a Norwegian, 22-year-old psychology student at the University of Roehampton, currently in the final moments of my bachelor's degree. I have been asked to write something about my experience as a student in London, and so I will. Note that I am not the most academic. However, you don't need to be. I appreciate social settings and have often procrastinated in the worst times. The University of Roehampton has allowed me to perform exceptionally academically and have a content-rich social life. Now, let's start with the first question.
While both accommodation and universities are expensive, you must adapt to a different culture and work with constant translation; it's an experience of immense value. Even though the UK is close to Norway and the resemblances in the society are countless, the culture shock pops the Norwegian "bubble" in more than one way. I wanted to become more connected to the international community and expand my network while still being able to travel home for the weekend if needed. So, why not move to one of the most extensive network boosters in the world? Many are saddened by feeling small in a city of this size. In my eyes, to think that your surroundings are huge must mean that the opportunities are limitless. Therefore, it can be difficult, but the benefits of the experience are more significant than the detriments.
Roehampton is just fresh air for a Norwegian in a concrete jungle. Living in London, like any European city, involves a lot of walking. Therefore, you appreciate walking around a large campus surrounded by nature. The pathways around the lakes are my favourite parts, as I sometimes get accompanied by ducks, geese, squirrels, and other smaller animals. The simpler things enhance your daily moods, like nature or the occasional tiny pumpkin hidden along the trails around Halloween. Second on my definitely written down favourite list, I can study anywhere. Changing your study environment is surprisingly helpful when most of your time is spent studying. If it's not the massive library, it might be the student union, the Whitelands Campus computer room, one of several diners, a green lawn anywhere or in Richmond Park right down the road (loads of deer). On your way around campus, you will often meet people you know. The campus is a miniature society that makes you feel at home, even if London is a concrete jungle.
Firstly, my university accommodation experience was as follows: I lived my first year at Whitelands College, my second year off campus, and my third year at Froebel College. For your first year as a student from another country, the smartest thing you do is move into campus halls. You surround yourself with students doing different courses from different places and cultures. This way, integrating yourself into the UK and the university campus will be fast and straightforward. Furthermore, living in student accommodation is a minimalistic practice. You have delegated cupboards in the kitchen and your room (with a shower and toilet if you choose ensuite). The room usually has one bed, desk, and chair, so there is little to work on. However, the university provides a maintenance team that fixes anything broken, a cleaner team that cleans the common area once a week, security is available 24/7, and you don't have to think about the cost of wi-fi or electricity. All this for one stable price is a good deal. Most importantly, you get flat mates who often become your closest friends. In my experience, if I ever felt like taking a study break, needed consulting, or needed to be social, I just stepped into the kitchen. Thus, you don't have to be worried about not making friends.
Student life in London is different. Back home, I am used to a schedule that is mostly the same every week, where you usually know everything going on in town. In contrast, being a student in London means every week is different. It depends on what you choose to do in your spare time and what you study (I only have lectures two days a week). Some weeks consist of events hosted by the university (if you live on campus, it's literally in your backyard) or the student union. Other weeks are reading weeks (no lecture week), and some are filled with sports society matches. There are students out and about almost every waking hour, and what I love the most is that It's always the right day or time to let go of your pencil and go out to central London. Everything is just available all the time. Overall, your student life in London can be anything you want.
I study Psychology, based at Whitelands College (a campus separate from the main campus). I chose this field of science because my experiences stretching mental barriers made me curious about what the mind is capable of and why. Who would not be interested in learning more about themselves and everyone else? Also, it's more than just learning about mental illnesses. It's to understand how everything humanity has ever done is based on the basics of the brain. Throughout the first part, I was introduced to general psychology themes like social, developmental, research and statistics, psychological problem solving and psychology in the real world. We had only two days of lectures from 09:00-16:00. The further into my studies, the more interested I got in the biological aspect, most related to neuropsychology. Now I wish to study and work with both psychological and physical trauma in the future.
No week is the same, but here is a generalised basic week in my life at Roehampton. Monday starts with many emails after breakfast (emails will become frequent as a university student). Then, walk to Roehampton's pride and joy, the campus library. After independent studying, I walk to Rosslyn Park down the road for my rugby training. Tuesday consists of walking (10 minutes) to Whitelands College for my early hour lectures, 11:00-13:00 and 14:00-16:00. If I haven't made lunch at home, I usually get something from the diner. The food there is varied and so good that I end up "forgetting" lunch a bit too often. In the evening, I usually go to the gym on or off campus. Wednesday is Roehampton's society day, where sports matches also take place. I typically participate in the Amnesty Student Society I am part of unless there is a rugby match that day. Thursday is specifically tough with its 09:00-11:00 and 14:00-16:00 lectures. Friday usually consists of an effective morning of studying with friends and volunteering at the nearby Royal Hospital for Neuro-Disability. The weekend is about relaxing, doing what you want and regaining that will to learn the following week.
Student societies are essential to any university and make a massive difference if you are in your first year. There are societies for every student. It might be a society focusing on human rights, anime, debating, film, nutrition, poetry, or the law. Starting your own society if you get enough interested students is also relatively simple. Sports societies are especially important for Roehampton and for your student experience. We have sports like hockey, cheerleading, volleyball, basketball, e-sports, tennis, football, and rugby. At my rugby training, I meet British, American, Australian, and South American lads who have grown up with rugby and some abroad student like me who started without knowledge of the sport. Some are there just for fun. Others take it more seriously, and that's fine. You are all on the same team, in the same boat, playing the same matches, riding the same waves. This definitely reflects on all the different sports societies at Roehampton. Also, the social aspect is the best part, as sometimes the team will gather after training at the student union for some socialising. After a match on a Wednesday, the rugby team (as well as other societies) arranges social activities of different kinds that often make you come home quite late. It is an excellent way to bond with the team and make friends, but your body will ache from the match the following day, and your head will ache from the night out if you are that type. So yes, student societies are essential and make a massive difference if you are in your first year. From personal experience, my advice when you arrive is to get out there, including yourself, and try.
English is not my first language; Norwegian is. I grew up with English from the early years of school, which made it easy to transition to British society. However, scientific and academic English was a wake-up call. It is more technical, descriptive, and formal, but you will quickly get used to it. Additionally, the university provides you with Studiosity, the "world leader in writing feedback and peer connection" (Studiosity.com, 2023). You can submit any paper anytime and get fast feedback on your writing, which is incredibly useful (they have even corrected this text). Eventually, I realised that writing is art, even if it's a research report. To write is to express, and there are so many ways to express. You will also find that the professors talk too fast and use words that make your brain muscles twist. Luckily, the university records most lectures, so you can review them again if needed. As mentioned, if you surround yourself with English people, this transition will go faster than you realise. Your very own British accent will catch on.
I applied to the University of Roehampton through Across the Pond (AP). It was the first link when I searched for universities in London. I filled out a form with my wishes and quickly got contacted by an AP adviser. I was happy when I learned that they give you an adviser that has been in your shoes. For example, my representative also started with their psychology degree at Roehampton University, so I knew this was the right person to ask for advice. They informed me of the documents needed for a university application and provided me with a list of universities in London offering an undergraduate degree in psychology. When I received my unconditional offer, my AP representative pointed me in the right direction regarding accommodation. You can ask AP about anything, and they follow you along the way even after you have started at the university. Thus, I recommend contacting Across the Pond to make it easier for you.
I loved being so close to so many beautiful European countries. All I had to do to get to Paris, Rome, Athens, or anywhere else, was pay anywhere from 30-200 pounds (very cheap compared to cross-continental flights) and catch whatever bus, train, or plane was cheapest!
I chose the University of Roehampton for its beautiful country landscapes and delicious meal plan. Everything I ate at Froebel college was the best thing I ever tasted.
The staff was incredibly friendly and everyone was super helpful when I didn’t understand things about the geography, culture, etc.
Just a short bus ride toward the Thames was the city of Putney which was so cute! There were markets and fruit stands and pastry shops lining the streets. Old book shops and coffee stands drew you in from miles away. It was quaint and clean and picturesque to spend a Saturday.
I’m a theater major at UCSD in America, so being in the cultural centerpoint, the New York City, of England was magical. I saw over 30 professional caliber plays and musicals. I went to ballets and operas. I got to rehearse and train in the city. It was beautiful.