During my gap year, one of my friends from England recommended that I apply to schools in the UK. I decided that studying abroad would be a great opportunity to see more of the world while furthering my education. I researched many universities and towns and found five I really liked. I also found “Across the Pond” which was a massive help when it came to applying to the universities and using UCAS. My advisor was always able to give me answers to questions I had, and she still continues to do so even after I have been studying in England for two years! If I didn’t use Across the Pond I would have struggled a lot with the application and visa process as it was quite complicated on my own. I am so glad it is a free and easy to use service!
The university I chose to go to was University for the Creative Arts in Farnham. Out of all the universities I applied to, this one was the cheapest, had the best location as it’s only an hour train ride from London, and had a great program for Film Production which I was studying. Now that I’m nearly done with year two, I have had the chance to adjust properly to uni life. I love that it is a fairly small university because you get the chance to meet more people. I have found that every time I go out into town I see at least one person I know which is a very comforting feeling especially since I live so far away from home. Since it is a smaller university it is easier to get one on one help from the staff. I have never had a problem connecting with the staff, they all genuinely want you to succeed and you can feel that with how they try to help you. Overall, the University for the Creative Arts is a really wonderful university that I am proud to study at!
Life in England vs America seemed like it would be a bigger leap than it actually was. It definitely is very scary leaving family and friends for the first time to come to England but after a little bit you get used to it. I hadn’t visited England before coming to study here and once I got here everything seemed so new. After only living in America my whole life it was hard not to notice the little things that were different but it got easier as most things do with time. The hardest part was getting groceries and taking them back to my accommodation but once I found a friend who offered to drive to get groceries it was way better! It was very interesting being able to buy alcohol without needing to be 21 and that was a strange adjustment. Living without your family gives you a whole new sense of independence which is a cool feeling! Being able to travel anywhere I wanted to was great! On days off from university I would go on the train to a different city and just explore. The public transportation here is amazing and something I wish we saw more of in America. Overall, life in England is fairly easy to transition to from America as there are some differences but for the most part it’s the same just with cooler accents!
I feel like I came fairly prepared and aware of differences in England but there were still some things I wish I was aware of or that I would have done differently. Here are some of them:
I would recommend UCA to any creative-minded students because of its easy access to London, the amazing studios and workshops, as well as the professor's connections for job placements after uni.
From the second I walked onto campus, my tutors have given me loads of opportunities for networking and work experience. Not only that, but they created workshops for us in the city to see different design agencies and meet potential colleagues.
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