Surrey meets Germany

Learn about life at Surrey from a current student from Germany

It’s the little things

Moving to England, I never experienced the common culture shock and think it doesn’t really exist if you’re from Germany. It’s rather been a gradual process and I started noticing little differences in my everyday life, which are less obvious than things like left hand traffic or having pounds as currency.

Shopping – I have to admit, shopping in the UK is easier for a couple of reasons. #1: Supermarkets in the UK are in general a bit tidier and there is a bigger selection of food. #2: On Sundays, nearly all businesses (including supermarkets and pharmacies) are closed in Germany, while in the UK they can open for up to 6 consecutive hours. #3: Using credit/debit cards or your phone to pay is much more common in the UK. Despite Germany being such a forward-thinking country, there are still many smaller shops like bakeries where you can’t pay by card or there is a minimum amount you have to spend. I regularly forget about this when I go home! And #4: It is a lot more common here to order your groceries!
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A tour of Guildford

You could, theoretically, spend all your time on campus, because it has everything you need: a supermarket, library, restaurants, a club etc., but I do love spending time in town as well. Guildford has so much to offer and the town centre is only a ten-minute walk away from the main university campus. Whenever family or friends come to visit, I give them a tour around town, so I wanted to share some of my favourite spots with you!

Guildford has a small castle, from where you have a great view of the town and the cathedral in the distance. In the summer the grounds are filled with flowers, which make it so picturesque! There are many nice cafes, two of my favourites being Harris + Hoole (http://www.harrisandhoole.co.uk/) and the tea terrace, which is a cute English tearoom (http://www.theteaterrace.com/). Guildford is great for shopping, as it has a good selection of big brand shops such as Zara, Topshop and H&M, which you can find on the High Street and the Friary shopping centre; but it also has also a number of smaller boutiques where you can find really unique pieces. Guildford also has a great variety of pubs and bars, as well as a few clubs. One place I absolutely love is the mount, which is part of a narrow elongated ridge. Once you managed to climb up the hill or the streets leading up to it, you have a great view of Guildford (and London in the distance) on one side and the countryside on the other! And last but not least, Lewis Carroll, the author of  Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (one of the best children’s books of all time if you ask me) spent much of his life in Guildford, so there are a few statues of Alice around town.
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Halftime

So this is the first week of my fourth semester here at Surrey which means that I am half way through my degree (excluding the placement year), which is pretty scary! I am really excited for this semester, partly because most of my modules look really interesting, this semester I am taking Pharmacology, Pathology and Medicine, Immunology and Biochemistry. It’s also the last semester before everyone leaves for their placements so I definitely want to make the most of it!

I’ve had the best one and a half years at Surrey so far and just wanted to reflect on some of my favourite moments/opportunities!
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Differences German – UK universities part 2

Hi everyone!

All my exams and placement interviews are done and I’m back in Munich for reading week! When I wrote about the differences between German and UK universities, there were quite a few social aspects I left out I wanted to mention to you too.

One characteristic of British universities I really enjoy is the international environment. In general, there are so many more international students and lecturers here in the UK than in Germany, as the language obviously makes it a lot easier to come here. During my time here I have met people from so many different countries like France, Canada, Cyprus and India, just to name a few.
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Societies and Sport

Hello everyone!

Finally finished my exams and only got one more placement interview to go! So I thought this week I would write about some of the activities you can get involved in apart from lectures, tutorials and exams.

The societies and sport clubs are probably one of the most significant differences between UK and German universities. Next to your course there are endless other opportunities to meet new people and get involved in different activities.

Surrey has 146 societies and 44 sports clubs. The Fresher’s Fayre in Welcome Week, which takes place in September, gives you the chance to see all the societies and clubs on offer and sign up for any that you’re interested in! Here is a link to a list of all the societies at Surrey: https://www.ussu.co.uk/ClubsSocieties/societies/Pages/Society-Websites.aspx
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Exam time!

Hello everyone! Revision week has come and gone and now it’s officially exam time, which is two weeks long, in contrast to the three-week exam period in June. During this time everyone is a just generally a little bit more stressed than usual, the library is packed at all times and it can feel like there is no time for anything else but writing notes and doing past papers. Exams here are a lot earlier than at German universities, which means that all of my friends back home still have a few weeks to revise after Christmas while we’re already in the middle of our exams.
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