Year Out - Students View
Students comments regarding Year Abroad/Year in Industry:
- Vanessa Patel (Year Abroad - USA)
- Stuart Beardsworth (Year Abroad - Germany)
Study abroad is possibly one of the best things that I have done in my life, it’s allowed me to develop new skills and grow as a person. By entering a new environment that is beyond your comfort zone, it can be scary at first, but then it becomes exciting, so long as you make every minute of your time out there count for something.
The possibilities that are presented to you become endless then. Although the work can be challenging at times and tedious, you just have to get on with it and if need be you have to adapt to a new studying method, but when you receive your grades it’s so satisfying to know that your hard work has finally paid off. The lectures abroad are on a small scale most of the time and if you find something difficult your lecturer will find time to help you. Generally most of the staff at University at Buffalo, are friendly and extremely approachable, and most will go out of their way to help you should you not understand something. But being abroad doesn’t mean that you have to focus on your academic studies only, you can travel and see the glorious sites of the country that you live in, and you should make the most of the opportunity that is presented to you. Also by making good friends abroad you start to feel less home sick and enjoy yourself far more, as you may not see your family for a long time the friends that you make become your substitute family and they will stick with you forever. Most students in America live in halls of residence in which each dorm consists of 2-4 people sharing a room, some form of a communal area and shared bathrooms. The majority of corridors are single sexed due to the shared bathrooms. Halls of residency is where you meet most of your friends, there are various activities within the dorms that the residential advisors (people who look after you) prepare to give students a distraction from their work. Also in your room you’re allowed to keep a pet fish, so if you’ve never had a pet before this is a great opportunity. The university also prepares many activities so that there is always stuff to do, the gym is free and you can see all the football matches for free and every now and again various acts come to the university, this fall we saw Jason Mraz, Bruno Mars and B.O.B, they also have magicians and hypnotist as well as people who swallow things and bring them back up. I’d say the only downside to studying abroad is that you need a car to get places or you have to rely on other people to take you places which can be a nuisance, but the university does supply regular busses to and from halls to university and twice a week a bus goes to the local supermarket and mall so students can branch out and have a break from their studies. The other thing is that since America has a drinking age of 21 it is impossible to find alcohol unless you are of age, as I.D is checked regularly, but you shouldn’t let this get you down as you will find new ways to entertain yourself and on the whole you save a lot of money which can be spent on travelling so there is always an upside. In the winter you have a lot of fun with the masses of snow that come flooding down from the sky, you can be in lectures for an hour and before you know it, there’s 2 foot of snow outside.
If study abroad presents itself to you then defiantly go ahead as you may never get an opportunity again.
So far everything has been really good, the International Office and Chemistry Departments here have been really helpful and sorted everything out here before I arrived so it was really easy to get settled.
As for the actual chemistry, the lab experience I have had had been extremely useful with respect to the large amount of time spent in the lab as well as the help from all the PhD students here as well on working on my project. The Distance Learning work is quite a lot of work on top but manageable with help from Leicester Chemistry Department and the Chemistry Department here in Stuttgart. On top of this both the International Office here and the students in the lab have helped me vastly improve my German and there have also been language courses with other Erasmus students and the daily interaction with all the German students in the lab.