Time is flying here in London, with not long left until I return to the United States! During my time here in the UK, I have been asked about the similarities and differences between studying here versus in America. Although there are many differences, one thing’s for sure: college is college, and it requires the same amount of brain power no matter what country you are in.
Here in the UK, college/university is called “uni.” So when someone asks you what uni you attend, they’re asking where you study. My uni is London South Bank University. I am currently taking four classes: London City of Change, Issues in Contemporary Sociology, Contemporary International Politics, and Video Technology. At my home university, I normally would take 4-6 classes and each class would be about an hour, meeting 2-3 times throughout the week. Here at LSBU (and many universities in the UK), each class is 3-4 hours long but we only meet once a week. Normally classes are split up into two hours of lectures followed by an hour long seminar.
I could argue that American universities love assigning consecutive work for students. We have consistent classwork, homework, midterms and final exams. However, in the UK, there’s usually only one or two major assignments all semester. This may sound like a breeze but these assessments counts for your entire grade so it can make or break you.
Lastly, I find it very interesting, especially in my sociology and politics classes, to learn about global issues from the British perspective. For example, discussing the American election can be quite entertaining for most of my British colleagues. A lot of the time, I feel I am pressured to be the spokesperson for all Americans.
Nevertheless, all in all, I really enjoy studying here in the UK. It has opened up a window of opportunity to learn in a different way than what I am used to. I will definitely take what I learned during my time here and apply it to my experiences when I return to the United States.
Thank you for reading, and best of luck with your studies, wherever you choose to go!