Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Studying Abroad: a semester in the USA

In this post, Daryl, one of our second year students, reflects on his semeter spent at Loyola University, USA. More information on the study abroad programme for year two students at Keele can be found here. Our single honours students have the opportunity to apply for an optional year abroad, as part of a four year degree programme.

Loyola University
Hello all, my name's Daryl and I study English and Sociology at Keele. For my study abroad experience I travelled to New Orleans, Louisiana for a semester at Loyola University, a Jesuit university. At first I was only interested in studying in either Canada or continental Europe but my love of Southern Literature and Jazz got the best better of me. On top of that I did want to go somewhere that would be very different from England, and the Deep South seemed different enough to fit the bill.

A swamp in County Sligo
I met some wonderful people during my studies. The Americans I met were friendly, intelligent, creative and very aspirational: I often wondered where they got their energy from to do all the tasks they set themselves. Most were members of sororities or fraternities (more of a commitment than you may think). They’d have several jobs, find time to do recreational activities  and submit work by their deadlines! Needless to say, for some of the international students in order to keep up caffeine was in constant supply and consumption. I ended up not trying to keep up socially with the Americans or the international students. 

Jefferson Square

I suppose what I'm trying to say is try not to assume that your study abroad experience will necessarily be a breeze. Of course, I hope it will be but you will need to work also, and American Universities, or at least Loyola specifically, have a tendency to pile work on onto their students. You may be much better at keeping up with the workload than me, and this will givey ou enough time to get out and familiarise yourself more with your surroundings,wherever you choose to study. And I certainly hope you do.

The famous beignets!

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