Study linguistics abroad

Provided everything I needed for my studies

As an EFL teacher, studying in the UK has always been a dream of mine. The rich history, diverse culture, and high academic standards were irresistible. I wanted to immerse myself in a new environment, challenge myself academically, and gain a global perspective that would enhance both my personal and professional growth.

I chose the University of Essex because of its outstanding reputation in the Department of Language and Linguistics, and its supportive global community. From the moment I stepped on campus, I felt at home. The modern facilities, beautiful library, and state-of-the-art labs provided everything I needed for my studies. The campus is vibrant, with beautiful green spaces to relax and socialise.

My accommodation was comfortable and conveniently located. I came with my husband, and we had a self-contained apartment with views of the lake. Everything worked well, and in case of any issues, the university was always quick to respond.

Student life in the UK is quite different from my home country, Chile. Here, there is a strong emphasis on independence and self-directed learning. The teachers are wonderful at explaining things and sharing their passion for the subject. Outside of classes, the diverse cultural interactions and numerous student societies have enriched my university experience beyond measure.

I pursued an MA in Applied Linguistics, a field that has always fascinated me. The course was comprehensive and engaging, covering everything from theory to practice. The practical approach and opportunities for real-world application made it incredibly rewarding.

Colchester, with its mix of historical charm and modern amenities, has quickly become my second home. I’m still here five years after graduation! I love exploring its quaint streets, visiting the local shops and markets, and enjoying the vibrant events. There's always something new to do and discover!

In my spare time as a student, I enjoyed joining various student clubs and societies, apart from making use of the gym membership. These activities helped me make friends from different backgrounds and cultures. We often hung out in the campus cafes, explored the town, or took short trips to nearby cities. Even today, we’re still in touch.

Before applying, I wish I had known more about the importance of balancing academic and social life. It's crucial to stay organised and seek help when needed. For those considering studying abroad, I highly recommend it. It's an unforgettable experience that broadens your horizons in unimaginable ways.

I applied through Across the Pond, and the experience was seamless. Their guidance and support throughout the application process were invaluable. They made everything straightforward, from choosing the right university to navigating visa requirements and even scholarship opportunities.

- Camila 

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Do a master's in Psychology abroad in the UK

Could it be possible to live my dream?

I had a job as an English/Spanish phone interpreter and I worked from home. I got to help people communicate efficiently despite the language barrier and this made me feel more confident about my foreign language skills. My calls were mostly from American clients but once in a while I’d get a London based call which always made me feel much more excited. The UK had always felt like a magical place for me. Blame it on the romanticized media we consume in films or just the strange appeal of a gloomy weather but I always dreamt of visiting England.

So an idea started growing in my mind... what if I studied abroad? Could it be possible to live my dream? I knew it’d be challenging but I trusted I had the skills and so far I had postponed any postgraduate studies so it felt like enough time had passed.

I presented the idea to my dad, who has always encouraged to dream big and he loved it. He told me I had full support if that’s what I wanted to do and that I just needed to decide where and when. I have to admit that choosing the place was the toughest decision ever! Of course my mind went immediately to London but I wanted to be close to London without actually living there. I wanted the peace and calmness of a small city but also to be able to explore the magnificence of central London whenever I felt like it, and that’s how I came across University of Essex. I applied to the University of Essex MSc Psychology course and the idea didn’t actually come to reality until March the next year when I received an unconditional offer letter telling me I was also eligible for an Academic Excellence International Scholarship. This is the moment when it all got real.

Preparations and the hunt for my new home

While I was juggling between work, travel plans, visa arrangements and I also had to start looking for a place to live in Colchester. My parents settled from the start that they would prefer for me to have a spare bedroom in case they wanted to visit and considering they were gonna travel with me to help me get settled, university’s student accommodation was disregarded immediately so I started looking for a two-bedroom-close-enough-to-the-campus-affordable-furnished flat on the internet through platforms like rightmove and zoopla but all the properties I contacted required a guarantor from the UK and I didn’t know anyone living in the UK. I was losing the battle with time so I just figured we could stay in a hotel the first couple of weeks and hopefully find me a place to live soon. Then, a miracle happened, one of the many listings I contacted reached out to me telling me the person who was in process of renting the property had fallen through so I had a chance and to this day I consider this agent who turned out to be the son of my landlord a gift from heaven. The virtual viewing of the flat showed me a two bedroom flat located in the first floor of a building that was equally close to the town as to the University. Totally furnished and very well communicated with public transportation, its safe to say everything went smooth from that moment onwards - for the documentation process they accepted my dad as the guarantor and I signed a 12 month contract. I still live there. 

University of Essex

I knew from the start that University of Essex was a prestigious, awarded, highly rated and multicultural university that’s mainly why I chose it. I found the application process very easy and welcoming for international students. The admissions team were always available and helpful. And this is where another sent from the heavens comes into action, my advisor from Across the Pond. I don’t particularly remember how I came across the agency I just know I’m thankful for it. My advisor advised me throughout the rest of the process and she was always there to answer my questions and as a link between the University and me. My CAS letter arrived in time and my visa got sorted efficiently before my (anticipatedly arranged) travel plans. After settling into my new home and exploring around town the date to start my studies finally came. The department of Psychology held and introductory activities week where I had the chance to know the campus and its facilities while also meeting some of my future coursemates.

Psychology in the world

I had always known that psychology is still in the progress of getting the recognition it deserves as a science in my home country but being confronted with how different it is to study psychology as a recognised science with all the support and means needed in order to conduct first level research made me feel a bit sad about the conditions under which many of us, aspiring psychologists went through studying in Mexico.

My course was a conversion course, it means that its designed to give you all the basic knowledge a graduate from a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology should have but in just one year. It was intensive. Lots of my coursemates came from different backgrounds. And I, had a BA in Psychology which gave me a slight advantage by being familiar with some concepts, theories and methods. Although as I mentioned earlier the resources may not be a good in Mexico, we did get good academic contents and for that I’m grateful.

One of the main differences I can point out between educational programs in Mexico and the UK is the amount of coursework. I remember having one piece of coursework PER MODULE, PER WEEK to say the least while studying my bachelor’s in Mexico, while there was barely one or two per module per semester here in the UK. I’m not sure whether if this difference means one system is better than the other one because I guess it depends on the student but personally I feel like there’s more room for actual critical thinking when students can focus in just producing one good essay instead of being overloaded and overworked trying to reach deadlines for multiple assignments.

I really liked my course. I have always being passionate about psychology and the University of Essex’s psychology approach is much more research based. For my dissertation I went for a more cognitive field, carrying out an actual experiment using equipment and a lab provided by the department with help of my supervisor. I used an eye tracking device and collected the visual field data from all my subjects while walking around campus to then code the recordings and measure how many times they looked at people’s faces with the purpose of studying its relation with anxiety.

Life off-campus

Colchester is a city located in the East of England. It is small but has everything anyone could ask for. From beautiful sceneries to a buzzing nightlife. It takes around 45 mins to and hour to get to London by train and you can travel anywhere from there.

I’m not a party person so during my free time I normally enjoyed having a beer with my friends or travelling around to explore as much as I can. I had the opportunity to meet people from so many different countries, England (of course), India, Vietnam, Japan, Korea, Italy, France, Spain and so many more. I also bonded with some fellow Mexican students and made very good friends with whom I explored London and everything it has to offer.  I also went to concerts, being a big fan on live music makes living in the UK feel like a fever dream. Of course my wallet doesn’t approve but I’ve enjoyed so many concerts and festivals in a couple of different cities which has also helped me meet more and more incredible people.

To summarize, if you can get used to function through the rain and cold temperatures I’d say England is a beautiful country, full of culture, nice people and amazing views.

Bilingualism: blessing or challenge?

Both. One of the first things everyone here says to me after learning I can speak two languages is that they wish they were bilinguals. Even though I don’t think my English is perfect, my english language skills have been praised so many times by native speakers and its because they recognize that being bilingual is not an easy task. In Mexico its almost a requirement nowadays to know a second language specially if you’re applying for a job, so for me, its just something I’m used to. Since I was a kid I showed interest for English as a language and I made it part of my life. Music, books, films, I always preferred to consume any type of content in English and I guess it paid off. Neither my parents or I were even sure I had a proficient English level because its nothing I ever took too seriously, it was more of a personal interest. So when I decided to study and live in England it was like the moment of truth. There’s no better way to test not only the language dominance, but also cognitive flexibility, resilience and problem solving than moving abroad. No matter how confident or used you are to be bilingual, studying and living abroad is always challenging and requires a daily effort. Studying and taking lectures in english was scary at the beginning but I found out that the more you are exposed to the language, the easier it gets. At first I had to really concentrate in what the lecturer was saying so I could make it make sense in my brain but after a couple of days I felt like I was understanding everything as if they were speaking in Spanish.

From having to ask “what does that mean?”, “sorry, can you repeat that?” to occasionally slip a word in my native language or having to blatantly describe an object cause you can’t remember its name in English, bilingualism and adapting to live in England has enriched my life in both personal and cultural ways.

Wrapping up...

I don’t think I’ll ever find enough words that completely describe how amazing all this process was. All I can say is that experiences are invaluable, living in a different country, testing and challenging yourself only to find out how capable you truly are, meeting the kindest people along the way and seeing things you only knew from the tv or pictures with your own eyes is just magical. Now, don’t get me wrong, not everything is a fairy tale - feeling homesick, lonely, having to start over without your family and loved ones can be really hard but you’re never alone. The university offers wellbeing services and mental health support to those in need and most of the people you’ll meet will be willing to offer a helpful hand if you ask. In my experience, local people are very kind and supportive towards foreigners, and of course fellow foreigners are also kind-hearted and open to help in any way they can. It is okay to ask for help if you’re struggling but I promise the reward will make it all worth it.

- Astrid

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Study Global Project Management abroad in the UK

Chasing Dreams Across Borders: The Decision to Study Abroad

I embarked on my study abroad journey with a burning desire for international experiences, cultural immersion, and English language mastery. My aim was not only to broaden my horizons but also to specialize in project management, a field that had captured my heart.

Essex's Allure: Choosing the University of Essex

The University of Essex emerged as my beacon of opportunity. With a stellar program and glowing recommendations from my university community, it was an easy choice. The enchanting Colchester campus and Business School Building stole my heart.

The Perfect Nest: Choosing Private Accommodation

My best friend and I decided to live together in private accommodation, a choice that rewarded us with privacy, great neighbors, and a comfortable home.

Bonds Beyond Borders: Student Life Abroad

Student life in a foreign land brought a delightful twist. With no family around, I found solace and companionship among my fellow students. We became each other's family, especially during the heartwarming Christmas holidays.

Global Project Management Unveiled: My Academic Odyssey

My academic pursuit, the MSc Global Project Management program, was a revelation. It provided the theoretical foundation I craved for managing diverse global projects. Additional courses in international business and marketing bolstered my expertise for the international business arena.

Southend's Charms: My Campus Haven

Studying at the Southend Campus was a blissful experience. The city offered serenity by day and vibrant nightlife by night. Exploring the city, the Adventure Island park, and meditating by the seaside pier became cherished pastimes.

Balancing Act: Work, Adventure, and Ambassadors

To fund my travel dreams, I juggled a part-time job at a restaurant, which not only enriched my English but also led to lasting friendships with people from around the world. Additionally, I proudly served as a student ambassador, offering campus tours and enhancing my overall student experience.

Wanderlust Unleashed: Exploring the UK and Beyond

I didn't miss a beat when it came to traveling. My part-time job opened doors to explore the UK and other dream destinations. Frequent trips to London and countless visits to the Southend pier filled my adventurous soul.

The Power of Guidance: Across the Pond

My application to the University of Essex was a breeze, thanks to the invaluable support of Across the Pond. Their guidance in selecting the right course, finding accommodation, tackling visa applications, and securing funding and scholarships was truly a game-changer. I can't recommend them enough.

My study abroad journey has been a whirlwind of excitement, personal growth, and unforgettable memories. It's a testament to the incredible experiences that await those who dare to dream and explore beyond their comfort zones.

- Melissa

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Study Audio-Visual Studies abroad

A great experience and I would recommend studying abroad

Study Audio-Visual Translation and Literature in the UK

Hi there! My name is Yenny, and I am a former student of an MA in audio-visual translation and literature. My experience as a Colombian student in a UK university has been wonderful. I was fortunate to study at the University of Essex. I chose this university because the translation program was in line with my professional goals and personal values.

At the University of Essex lecturers are great support, and flatmates, as well as classmates, are super friendly and very welcoming regardless of your nationality, gender, sexual orientation and colour. The lecturers promote autonomous work, which enhances students’ research skills. I valued this dynamic not only because it is new, but also because it allowed me to manage my time according to my needs. Regards my master’s, I can tell you that it was ‘hands-on’. We were learning theory but at the same time applying what we were taught in the previous lesson, which allowed me and my classmates to earn a one-year experience as translators. Most of the lectures were in English and some of them were in Spanish. It was a little bit challenging to get used to the British accent, but after a while, I got the hang of it. I also had the opportunity to learn to understand several accents from international students.

A normal day at the university can start with a Zoom call or a lecture in one of the university’s classrooms. You can find a little market in one of the university’s squares where you can have a coffee or any international dish. The University is widely diverse and allows different student groups to create and participate in several events that are not only fun but helps you to get to know different communities. So, on a regular day, you can celebrate Día de Los Muertos or celebrate Holly with the rest of the international students. Then you get to have lunch or dinner in one of the university’s restaurants and enjoy a walk next to the lake. Finally, you can go to your accommodation and call it a day.  
My experience living in one of the students’ accommodations in Colchester was one of the best. My accommodation had a great kitchen, a private bathroom, a peaceful environment, friendly flatmates and easy access to public transportation. There were several buses to go to town from the university’s accommodations. On the other hand, Colchester was a great town even though shops closed early, which is very different from Colombia. You can find almost any type of shop in town and the people are quite friendly and helpful. Another difference that I found between my country to Colchester is that Pubs sell food that is good and quite cheap. In Colombia, we don’t have Pubs per se, but we do have bars that sell crisps and burgers. During my spare time, I used to go to Colchester’s park, called ‘Castle park’, which is a peaceful place to read, listen to music, sleep on the grass and have a picnic.

Finally, before coming to the UK, I wish people had warned me about the change of seasons. It was very difficult to keep up with the changes of it. Therefore, the climate app is my best friend now. Another thing I wish people would have warned me about the UK before coming was that in the UK, most of the proceedings are done online. You need to have your BRP, Passport and any documentation that can help you with online forms.

Overall, it is a great experience and I would recommend studying abroad to anyone reading this post.

- Yenny

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Study Art History abroad

The University of Essex is a fantastic place

Study Art History in the UK

Across the Pond was by far the best thing I have ever encountered. Without their help, I would not have been able to have achieved my dream of studying in the UK. They helped walk me through every step of the way and were so supportive and kind the entire time. My advisor was great at emailing me promptly and giving me all the advice she could. The webinars were super helpful and a great way for my parents to understand the process. 

The University of Essex is a fantastic place and I am so happy to have chosen to go here. Within the first week, I was already completely settled in and had made several friends. Colchester is a quaint town with beautiful countryside and rich history that is very different from home in Florida but gives me an experience that would not be possible back home.

Essex seemed like the best choice for me since it is not too far from London, but not actually in London, so I am able to visit easily when I want to visit the city. The town size is slightly larger than my hometown but not overwhelming; plus they offered great courses for my major and gave me an experience that could not be matched in America. I absolutely love it here as there is always something happening on campus, plus I am surrounded by a population of international students allowing me to learn so much about other cultures as well.

I am so thankful for Across the Pond for helping me achieve my dreams.

- Mekenzie

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Digital meeting with a Student Advisor

Book an online session with an advisor with Across the Pond to learn more about studying in the UK! 

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