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Testimonies

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England

Richmond, England | Lincoln, England

Name: Monica Hachen
Email: Minmon12@aol.com 
Major: Marketing/International Studies Minor

Study Abroad Period: Fall 2001
University Attended: University of Richmond, London, AIFS program
Country: England
Class: Senior

The university provided a beneficial orientation program upon arrival: Agree
The university provided opportunities for those native to the Country: Strongly Agree
The Language barrier was easy to overcome: Strongly Agree
The university explained the country's educational system (grading scale, assessment, teaching style, etc): Strongly Agree
Overall quality of the university met my expectations: Agree
Overall learning experience met my expectations: Strongly Agree
I experienced little or no culture shock upon my arrival: Disagree
I experienced little or no culture shock upon my return home: Disagree

Please rate your experience overall: Excellent

What would have better prepared you for your study abroad experience?:
I should have brought a backpacking bag, I found that I packed too heavy many times on our weekend trips. Many times you are stuck lugging around big bags, it's better to pack light on the trips. You won't see most of the people again anyway if you're forced to wear the same clothes again during the trip.

What are the most significant things you learned while abroad?:
I learned a lot about myself as a person, you're forced into independence, in a place unlike what have been familiar. I learned a lot about traveling on my own. The arrangements take some time, but sometimes it's fun to plan spontaneously.

Would you recommend going abroad to other students?:
Those who study abroad come back with a better understanding of the world as a whole. There is much to experience outside the US, it takes initiative to travel, but the rewards are well worth it.

What suggestions would you offer to other students going abroad in the future?:
Do not cling to those who are like you. Focus on meeting and understanding cultures and lifestyles of the people in the places you travel.

How difficult was it for you to adapt to the environment?:
Life was very similar to life in a city here in the US. It was difficult getting used to the British accent, but I had it easy because it was still English. The food wasn't that great. You learn to live off bread products. More was expected from you to be done outside the classroom from the professors, which was a different way of learning then here.

Give us an idea of class availability, recommended course load, and what class you took while abroad:
I took 4 business classes while I was abroad. I spent a lot of time traveling to the two different campuses, I should have focused on keeping my classes at the one campus location. Also I wish I would have taken advantage of the classes that I could only take in London. Museums and Galleries, History of London.

Looking back, provide us with some tips on how you would improve your experience:
I should have restricted my time spent with Americans. I found myself constantly surrounded by American culture. A semester is short, I should have expanded myself my not limiting my social group. Get to know the natives, they know where to go and what to do, it's their home territory.

Tuition Cost: $7500
Room & Board Cost: $2500
Amount of Airfare: 1 way provided, trip home $200
Approximate Cost of Semester Travel: $2500


Name: Mark Meadowcroft
Email: mm1486@ship.edu 
Major: Finance

Study Abroad Period: Spring 2002
University Attended: University of Lincoln
Country: England
Class: Junior

The university provided a beneficial orientation program upon arrival: Strongly Agree
The university provided opportunities for those native to the Country: Disagree
The Language barrier was easy to overcome: Strongly Agree
The university explained the country's educational system (grading scale, assessment, teaching style, etc ): Strongly Disagree
Overall quality of the university met my expectations: Agree
I experienced little or no culture shock upon my arrival: Agree
I experienced little or no culture shock upon my return home: Disagree

Please rate your experience overall: Excellent

What would have better prepared you for your study abroad experience?:
Speaking to people who have already studied at the same country which I went, possibly even the same school to find out how their experience was and to get any information off of them that I could.

What are the most significant things you learned while abroad?:
I learned about a completely different culture and learned that the world is really different outside of the US. I really learned how to take care of myself and become more independent.

Would you recommend going abroad to other students?:
Studying abroad is an experience like no other. In my situation I was put into an apartment with 5 other English students, I became great friends with them and will never forget the time spent. During my free time I also got to do a lot of traveling. I was able to travel throughout all of Europe and see so many things that I wouldn't think was possible at my age.

What suggestions would you offer to other students going abroad in the future? :
Research, get an idea of what things you would like to accomplish while in the country you are in. I thought so much about going other places that I didn't take as much advantage of traveling the country I was in. Go over open minded and be willing to meet new people, you are going to meet people who don't particularly like Americans, but you will also meet loads of people who are going to have loads of questions about our own culture.

How difficult was it for you to adapt to the environment?:
I think it really isn't that hard to adapt, especially if you go over there with an open mind, you will be really excited and therefore it'll be easier to adapt. To me meeting people wasn't a problem at all, you will find that they will be more willing to approach you than you would be of them. The food could be the hardest thing to get use to, what I did was started out by buying things that looked familiar, then experienced more as I went on. You'd be surprised though how "Americanized" countries actually are. The public transportation throughout Europe is really good. You can pretty much hop on a train and go anywhere. It's not hard to travel around and if you get a student rail card it makes things a lot cheaper.

Give us an idea of class availability, recommended course load, and what class you took while abroad:
Their classes work completely different than ours, but while I was over there I took 4 courses. For me I finished up my gen-ed's so I got a good variety of the classes. I would recommend not taking more than 5 classes, and if you have the room to take less.

Looking back, provide us with some tips on how you would improve your experience: I wish that I would have spent more time traveling England and the UK. I only got a chance to do a little in the UK even though it was right at my fingertips.
If you have the time and are willing to, go over for a year. Just jump into it, meet as many people as you can cause the time goes fast.


Tuition Cost: Shippensburg Tuition
Room & Board Cost: Shippensburg Room & Board
Amount of Airfare: $420 Round trip
Approximate Cost of Semester Travel: $1500