Home Institution & Study Abroad Term:
Fall 2019, University of Surrey, (Guildford, UK)
Why did you choose to study abroad?
I wanted to experience what university life is like in a place where I never had the opportunity to visit before, Learn new things about different cultures, meet people with different ways of life and different mentalities, as well as finding out how my course material differs in different countries.
What did you learn about yourself?
It’s much easier to be social than I thought. I made friends much quicker than I thought I would, which made me realise there’s no need to be nervous about going abroad. I adjusted really quickly and am now planning many more solo trips.
What was one of your favorite parts of the program?
At the end of the first week, there was an event called Packapalooza, where the whole highstreet is closed and loads of stalls are put up selling items, and giving away loads of free stuff. At the end of the night there’s a huge concert with fireworks, and ending with the lighting of the Bell Tower. I loved the atmosphere.
Did you live on campus or off campus? What was your experience like?
I lived on campus at Wood Hall, and I’m so happy I chose to do so. I made great friends within my suite, had a roommate which was a completely new experience to me. The on campus experience living experience was great because there’s always events happening at NC State and it was so easy to just turn up to everything. Also, it’s easier to get to classes in the morning, as the campus is huge!
Did you have a meal plan while you were at NC State? Do you have advice for incoming students on choosing a meal plan?
I had the Everyday Meal plan which i highly recommend. You get unlimited access to three dining halls, which have all the food and drink you can need, as well as 12 meal credits a week to purchase meals from any of the multiple on campus restaurants such as Chick Fil A, Starbucks etc… If you don’t need all that, there’s kitchen’s in most accommodation blocks, and you can even rent cooking equipment from the residence service desks. But my advice would be to get a meal plan because you will probably end up spending the same amount of money on groceries. Also, it’s a nice social thing to go have dinner with friends, as most people on campus have a meal plan.
What advice do you have for future incoming exchange students?
Get out of your comfort zone everyday, be social from the very beginning. Don’t be afraid of the language barrier, if you speak a second language people will find that awesome. And make use of all the on campus facilities like the gym and recreation center, there is always something to do. Also top tip: download the NC State Guides app for a schedule of everything that’s going on for the first month.
How were your classes at NC State different than if you would have taken them at your home university? Did you take any field trips or do anything outside of the traditional classroom?
For all my classes, exams had much less weighting towards my final grade because attendance, quizzes, and class participation also gives you credit. One of my classes (BUS340) was a ‘flipped classroom’ where we had to learn all the course material in our own time, and used the class time to only do hands-on practical work, which was great.
Would you do it again?
1000 times yes.