It was already clear to me at the beginning of my studies that I definitely wanted to do a semester abroad in England in the 5th semester. England has always been a country that I liked very much and where I could well imagine living for a while.
Looking back, I would say that it is very important to start planning your semester abroad relatively early. I started at the end of the 3rd semester. It takes a long time until you have all the important documents, such as TOEFL test, letters of recommendation or course choice, together and can apply for the respective university. During this time, the MicroEDU team was on hand to provide support and advice. Christiane from MicroEDU , who is responsible for stays abroad in England, really helped me a lot during this time.
My favorite for the semester abroad in England was the University of Bristol. On the one hand because the university has a very good reputation and on the other hand because Bristol is one of the most beautiful cities in England. Accordingly, I was very happy when I received my application.
Once you have received approval, the next step is to think about your accommodation in Bristol. I met students in Bristol who rented an apartment privately, but I wanted to move into a student residence.
I shared a flat in the dormitory with five other students. Everyone in the flat had their own bathroom, and we shared the kitchen. I lived with two Greek boys, two girls from London and a girl from California.
The life in the dorm was really one of the highlights in the period in Bristol. I like to remember cooking together and spending hours talking about God and the world with my flatmates. My roommates were of course some of my closest caregivers in Bristol, and it was nice that someone always had an open ear for you. By the end of the semester, my roommates had become my friends rather than mere roommates.
Activities & events
What struck me as particularly positive is the extremely large range of activities and events organized by the university.
A week before the university starts, there are a lot of events and activities for all international students, so that you can make a lot of new friends straight away. For example, on one day all student clubs that you can join were presented. There are the funniest societies, I would definitely recommend joining one or the other club.
There are countless cool excursions and events throughout the semester. I went to Stonehenge and Bath with me, for example, which was a really great activity. Looking back, I would say it’s practically impossible to get lonely in Bristol, you really don’t have to be afraid of that.
Of course, I was particularly curious about the lectures and how or whether they differ from the lectures in Germany. There are several hundred students attending a lecture at my university, so I really liked that Bristol attaches great importance to individual support. In two business administration courses we were no more than 35 students, which meant that the lecturers got to know you very quickly and were always eager to help the international students if you had questions about the lecture.
Before my semester abroad, I had never lived long in an English-speaking country and I wasn’t sure if my school English would be sufficient to be able to follow the lectures well. But it quickly turned out that this concern was really unfounded. I would say my English improved a lot after just two or three weeks. You get used to speaking only English very quickly. The first two weeks I got through well with my school English. I was told that German students always get used to it very quickly because they all speak English quite well. Overall, I would say that the language wasn’t a problem either in the lecture or in the exams.
City of Bristol
Before my semester abroad, I had been to other cities in England, but not to Bristol. One of the reasons I applied to Bristol rather than another university was because Bristol is known as one of the most beautiful cities in England. The big plus point of the city is that it is close to the sea. In addition, Bristol was not bombed as badly as other cities during WWII, so many of the old buildings still stand, which gives the city a certain charm.
I especially enjoyed going to the many markets in Bristol. A lot of delicious food is sold there. The wraps, falafels and cakes are really delicious.
If you are interested in art, you can go on a discovery hunt for the Banksy works of art that can be found all over Bristol. There really is something for everyone.
The only negative point I can think of about this stay abroad is that a semester abroad in England naturally costs a lot of money. On the one hand you have to pay tuition fees and rent for the student residence, on the other hand the cost of living is relatively expensive. I think at this point everyone has to think for themselves whether they are willing to pay that much money. There are funding options, such as scholarships, but I think that studying in England is definitely more expensive than in many other countries. It was definitely worth it to me and I would do it again.
The semester abroad was an unforgettable experience for me. The MicroEDU team also played a large part in making my time in Bristol so great. Christiane in particular contributed to this. Right from the start I was given very competent advice on how to plan and organize everything. A big thank you for this! I have always felt that I was in good hands and looked after at MicroEDU.