I chose to study American Studies at University at Derby because of the broad range of topics you cover as part of the course. These include Politics, History, Literature, Cinema and means that there is something for everyone, and may even introduce you to topics you have never considered studying before. The Lecturers for the course are also published experts in their particular fields and very enthusiastic about their subjects, so you definitely know that you are learning from the best!
The American Exchange programme
I wanted to go to America as part of the Study Abroad exchange programme for the experience of being in a nation and culture so similar, yet so different, from that of the UK. I hoped that the experience would give me new insight into both our cultures and help me further understand America and its place in the world. I also wanted to experience life as a student at an American University to see if the experience was as exciting as I’d heard it could be!
Whilst on the Study Abroad programme, I studied hard at my new University but also found the time to travel, both during term time and during the summer. I visited places like Washington D.C. and New York City; which were amazing! I also spent a great deal of time with the American students at the University, most of whom have now become lifelong friends. My roommate in particular has practically become extended family now! I absolutely loved my time aboard and would recommend it to anyone who wants to challenge themselves; don’t be afraid and just go for it!
Benefits of studying abroad
I would definitely say that my time abroad was life-changing for me, with effectively being ‘on my own’ from the minute I stepped on the plane. Although my U.S host university and University of Derby were very supportive throughout the whole process, being away from my natural support network in the UK taught me how to overcome challenges both as an individual and as an adult. As a result, I have become much more confident as a person, with more faith in my abilities and not afraid to try new things. I believe that the experience will help my future career as whilst I was in the U.S. it was necessary for me to grow as person, to adapt to a foreign environment and consider different perspectives on things that I had never examined before.
My key highs from studying at University of Derby so far of course include the Study Abroad experience but also the many things I’ve experienced whilst at Derby itself. Being taught by a smaller department has been very enjoyable as both a student and person, as you benefit from a close-knit learning environment, and also get the opportunity to develop relationships with everyone on your course, and the Lecturers themselves who are always willing to help however they can.