I did my “semester abroad” in the fall trimester 2011 at the University of Essex. Contact was easy to make as I happened upon MicroEDU by chance. That made the application process a lot easier. I also think that you have a good chance of being accepted at the University of Essex.
Getting there was relatively easy as you can get good information on the university’s website. The reception was also very warm. When I arrived on campus, many volunteers were on site to help one with the luggage and the other with the way. I got a room on campus so I had to pick up my keys. After that it was first about bringing my heavy luggage to the right house. Fortunately, the helpers had mobile support and I didn’t have to lug everything around. Once at the house, the little chaos began.
I had a room on the South Courts with a private bathroom. Since it was my first time in England, my room felt quite small and old. But I got used to it very quickly and even started to feel it was my little “home”. It had advantages and disadvantages to live there, of all places. My roommates were all 3 Asians, which was actually an advantage for me because I was really forced to speak English all the time. After all, that’s one of the main reasons why you choose to study in England. Unfortunately, I had the bad luck to share a kitchen with 2 very “messy” girls. Although the kitchen was cleaned once a week, it was always very dirty. Also, I think that the South Courts are mostly Asians, so the chance to get in touch with native English people is not that easy. But, of course, it’s also nice to have a multi-cultural flat share.
Living on campus had many advantages. The price is one of the reasons I chose it. On top of that, it’s a lot easier. In addition, you are really very close to the university and can get groceries 24 hours a day, as there is a shop on campus. Otherwise, the Tesco supermarket is very close by. For people who want something at home, there is also an Aldi – but it is a little further away.
The disadvantage for “non-party lovers” is that parties are actually celebrated every day somewhere on campus or in the dormitories. The South Courts were rather quiet, but both Towers (both North and South) liked to party very loudly. Since the towers were very close, you could hear someone screaming every night. Usually not a problem, but during exam times it can sometimes be too much.
The university itself was, in my opinion, a very good decision. I find that people really care about you. Somebody is responsible for every problem and always ready to help. I had the feeling that there was “support” for every little thing. In most cases the lessons were to my satisfaction. The teaching staff also took me into consideration if I couldn’t come along or something like that. I can say for myself that I successfully completed my studies at the University of Essex. Since the trimester is so short, there is of course a lot to do. My subject combinations were unfortunately a bit unfavorable. I had 1-2 essays to deliver almost every week. But despite everything, I enjoyed studying there. My tip would be
According to LIUXERS, Colchester itself is a very cute little town. I found the people (mostly) very warm and courteous. I got a Railcard for students (28 pounds), which was worth it for me. With that you get tickets a lot cheaper and you get the money out if you go to London at least 3 times. Colchester is not too close to London, but not too far either. I have also explored other cities such as Ipswich and was surprised that everything is actually very close. If you manage your time well, you can get out more often. I’ve done a lot, including visiting Colchester Zoo. If you are interested in museums, you will be delighted, because you can enter most museums free of charge with your student ID. You should also go to the “Castle”, there are a lot of squirrels, that you can even stroke. Generally there is a lot of grassland where you can take long walks.
- If you like to party and are sociable (approx. 14 people in a shared apartment), you can choose the Towers as your dormitory. Otherwise I would stick to the houses where you have your own bathroom.
- If you have problems, ask, there is always someone to help you!
- Plan your time well, because (depending on the course you choose) you can have a lot to do.
- Try to get out as often as possible and explore the area.
- ABOVE ALL: Enjoy the time, because I already miss Colchester!