Lessons from abroad

Stu­dents past and present share their ex­pe­ri­ences of study­ing overseas, while non-Bri­tish stu­dents re­veal the ben­e­fits of at­tend­ing a UK univer­sity

BBC History Magazine - - Study History -

Katie Fry

Syd­ney, Australia FROM: BA (Hons) His­tory STUD­IED: at Univer­sity of York

I love the Tu­dor pe­riod, so study­ing in York meant I was able to ac­cess sources that would not have been avail­able to me in Australia. Liv­ing in such a his­tor­i­cal city gave me a greater ap­pre­ci­a­tion for what I was study­ing. Walk­ing through York Min­ster where Henry VIII walked, or vis­it­ing Clif­ford’s Tower where the Jewish mas­sacre of 1190 oc­curred def­i­nitely brought his­tory to life for me.

Study­ing in the UK took me out­side my com­fort zone and devel­op­ing my in­de­pen­dence was one of the ben­e­fits of mov­ing abroad. The down­side for me was the home­sick­ness – Jan­uary blues be­ing a real thing, as Syd­ney is a long way from York. The fi­nan­cial im­pli­ca­tions were also a big con­sid­er­a­tion; de­spite be­ing born in the UK, I was still sub­ject to in­ter­na­tional stu­dent fees.

Laura Whi­taker

Brighton, UK FROM: BA His­tory at the STUDY­ING: Univer­sity of Queens­land, Australia (third year)

Mov­ing to Australia was a big de­ci­sion but one that has ben­e­fit­ted me in many ways: in De­cem­ber 2018 I will grad­u­ate with an in­ter­na­tion­ally recog­nised de­gree in his­tory.

Mov­ing half­way across the world en­cour­ages in­de­pen­dence, which, in turn, has had a pos­i­tive im­pact on my so­cial skills and con­fi­dence. Not only have I had the op­por­tu­nity to meet some amaz­ing peo­ple, I’ve been lucky enough to have had the chance to ex­plore my her­itage (I am of dual-na­tion­al­ity) and what it means to be an Aus­tralian.

Study­ing abroad is cer­tainly not an ex­pe­ri­ence for the faint-hearted. Ev­ery time I visit the UK or re­turn to Australia I feel as though I am torn be­tween two places. How­ever, get­ting the chance to ex­plore a new coun­try and gain­ing a world- class de­gree is an in­cred­i­ble op­por­tu­nity and one I would rec­om­mend to any­one who en­joys travel, meet­ing new peo­ple and ex­plor­ing new places.

Sara Davis

Texas, US FROM: MA in His­tory, STUD­IED: Univer­sity of Bristol

I was drawn to the more rig­or­ous, fast-paced de­grees in his­tory the UK has to of­fer. In the US, an MA can take be­tween two and three years; I was able to com­plete the same de­gree in just over a year by study­ing in the UK.

Dur­ing that year I was im­mersed in a pro­gramme that al­lowed me to ex­pe­ri­ence the his­tory I stud­ied first-hand. I was able to visit the cathedrals I had been read­ing about, tran­scribe me­dieval texts older than the US, and talk with world- class schol­ars.

Char­lotte Hodg­man

Kent, UK FROM: BA (Hons) His­tory at STUD­IED: the Univer­sity of War­wick, with a term in Venice

I was lucky enough to spend the au­tumn term of my fi­nal year study­ing with War­wick tu­tors in Venice and it’s an ex­pe­ri­ence I shall never for­get. Liv­ing and study­ing in the city gave me a new ap­pre­ci­a­tion for the his­tory I was learn­ing about, while two years’ worth of Ital­ian classes meant I was able to – or at least try to – in­ter­pret orig­i­nal sources.

The time I spent in Venice sealed my love of Re­nais­sance his­tory, de­vel­oped my lan­guage and life skills and gave me a host of mem­o­ries I shall never for­get.

Rachel Rivers

Mon­tana, US FROM: His­tory of the English STUD­IED: No­bil­ity and Re­nais­sance Texts and Cul­tures, Univer­sity of Read­ing

Study­ing abroad in­tro­duced me to a world I had only vis­ited through the pages of his­tory books and nov­els.

I am from a small town in Mon­tana, US, and my fam­ily doesn’t travel, so study­ing abroad al­ways seemed like a far- off dream. How­ever, I was able to get onto the study abroad pro­gramme at my home univer­sity of Car­roll Col­lege and in the win­ter of 2014 that dream came true.

My study abroad ex­pe­ri­ence changed me in so many ways: I flew on my first air­plane; I vis­ited a for­eign coun­try; and I was able to visit the his­tor­i­cal sites I had read about for years. Stand­ing in the spot where Anne Bo­leyn lost her head gave me goose bumps and brought hun­dreds of years of his­tory to life for me. Ex­pe­ri­enc­ing a place and ab­sorb­ing its his­tory and cul­ture is truly the only way to un­der­stand and ap­pre­ci­ate a coun­try.

Study­ing abroad also im­pacted my aca­demic life: the Bri­tish univer­sity sys­tem is vastly dif­fer­ent from Amer­ica. I be­lieve that my time in Read­ing made me a stronger stu­dent when I re­turned home and made me hun­gry to learn more about a coun­try I’ve loved since I was a child.

Harisa Ashraf

Lon­don, UK FROM: BA His­tory at STUD­IED: King’s Col­lege Lon­don, with a term at the Univer­sity of Toronto, Canada

Study­ing abroad was the high­light of my de­gree. Aca­dem­i­cally, study­ing abroad helped me un­der­stand his­tory from a dif­fer­ent per­spec­tive and ex­plore mod­ules I wouldn’t have had the op­por­tu­nity to in the UK. The ex­pe­ri­ence was also vi­tal in terms of my ca­reer pro­gres­sion. I loved it so much I went on to spend two in­cred­i­ble years work­ing in the univer­sity’s Study Abroad of­fice – help­ing stu­dents gain their own ex­pe­ri­ences overseas – and from there went on to a job in the civil ser­vice.

Study­ing in Venice was a course high­light for our deputy edi­tor, Char­lotte Hodg­man

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.