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Final Reflections

Melisa Karasu, University of British Columbia, Canada

Vancouver Waterfront

Well I can’t believe that my time abroad has finally come to an end. I’ve only been back home for a couple of weeks and it already feels like it was all a dream! Now I have settled back into life in England, I think a post dedicated to reflecting on my experience is in order. Continue reading “Final Reflections”

Leaving the US

After almost 6 months studying at NC State, leaving America feels difficult to process. It seems like I only got settled to all of the differences a couple of months ago – and with Spring Break, mid-terms, finals and making travel plans, time really does go by fast. Especially now that I’m sitting in the airport ahead of a 26 hour journey home!


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Highs and Lows

Everyone tells you that you study abroad will be the best time of your life.  Looking back on the last nine months I can honestly say that I have had the most wonderful experience, making lifelong friends and amazing memories making me so grateful that I was given this opportunity.  However I do think that it is important to share that there are highs and lows to studying abroad and that it is unreasonable to be 100% happy all the time and give some suggestions of the things that I have found helpful whilst I have been away.

I have previously written about the academic differences between Mizzou and Manchester but I didn’t really make it clear how difficult that was.  At the beginning I found it frustrating as I was so used to the way things are done at Manchester and I struggled to be able to write shorter papers that included all of my points as well as doubting myself in multiple choice questions and getting lower grades that I felt did not reflect my capabilities or how hard I had worked.  If you grades are being transferred back to Manchester this is something important that you should think about because it took me awhile to get used to it.  It really helped me to speak to my professors and TA’s who are super open and helpful and I really do advise you to take advantage of every extra credit opportunity you get as I managed to turn by B+ into an A- because of extra credit.Screen Shot 2017-05-01 at 14.11.43(Me with some of the other Study Abroad Students)

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Oh my god study abroad is over!? And I have to write my second post just before I go sooo…

I definitely think studying abroad puts you in positions you just would never find yourself in in Manchester, which is also why you get to meet some of the great people that you definitely wouldn’t have found if you stayed at home.

When you study abroad you’ll develop confidence and independence because the getting here, doing it all as well as making an effort socially is all down to you in the end.


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Work-Life Balance Abroad

Apart from getting to see the world and meeting amazing people, studying abroad throws you in at the deep end in terms of developing life skills. I thought I’d share my experience of trying to ground a good work-life balance while being in New Zealand. It definitely hasn’t been easy, but I’ve learnt a lot from my experience so far… Continue reading “Work-Life Balance Abroad”

My favourite places in LA!

Lottie Harold – Geography – University of California, Los Angeles – United States

If you’re coming to UCLA, California or just the USA in general, it’s likely you’ll head to LA to do some touristy things. I’ve lived here  for 8 months and I’m so happy to call this place home (at least for a little while)!

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I joined a frat!

Lottie Harold – Geography – University of California, Los Angeles – United States

Firstly yes, I’m a girl.

Greek life is infamous in American college movies and in real life it’s pretty much like one expects. Girls are split into sororities and guys are in fraternities, all named after Greek letters, living in beautiful mansions on ‘Frat Row’, and holding huge weekly parties. But what I wasn’t aware of were co-ed fraternities, which usually have a specific theme – such as an academic fraternity, volunteering fraternity, or honours student fraternity.

Phi Sigma Pi volunteering for a homeless charity!

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Eastern Travels

With finals nearing their end, I thought it would be a good time to post an update with some affordable travelling you can do during term time. The two trips I took toward the end of April cost less than $100 each for a full weekend away and meant I was able to visit Asheville, Boone and Mount Mitchell in North Carolina and fit in a trip to Atlanta, Georgia.


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San Diego – where to go

San Diego is a very strange city. Like most American cities it’s so big that it is divided in to various areas, however what’s unique about San Diego is that they are all (so conveniently for a non-driver) separated by freeways (rejoice! American’s love cars! more roads – why not?!). That said, some of the areas are really cool, with each having their own ~vibe~…so here’s a breakdown:

North Park – probably one of my favourite parts of San Diego, sadly its not near the beach, but it resembles areas like the Northern Quarter the most. Full of nice cafes/bars, breweries, book and vintage shops its a good place to hang out. IMG_1923

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Before arriving at UBC

Flora Scott, Chemistry, University of British Columbia, Canada

Despite the many similarities when doing your year abroad in another westernised English-speaking country (I wouldn’t say it was exactly a culture shock), there are many differences between Canada and England.

The views are definitely better in Canada

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What to Expect from UMass


So this again has been on my huge to do list forever and I had all these ideas of how I was going to post loads of blogs and videos etc but what I have learnt if anything from Study Abroad is that THERE IS NO TIME!!!

I’m gonna do a really quick fire round of what you need to know before going to UMASS and then include some of the great stuff I’ve been able to do whilst being here so that anyone coming her next year knows why it’s defo a good choice.


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After living in Hong Kong for 8 months, I finally got round to doing the famous Lion Rock hike which gives you the most incredible views of Kowloon and the main island. I thought this would be a good time to reflect on my second semester so far just before the exam period begins and the semester comes to an end.