Crossing the Atlantic

An insight into life at Surrey from current US students

Free Fun!

Have you ever had a single tear roll down your cheek because you saw how much money it cost to supposedly “have fun”? Those moments when you look around and realize that literally everything costs money can be daunting and scary when you know that you have to buy things you need but also things you want. Well, as a student in Guildford, there are more affordable ways to have free/cheap fun with friends around campus, Guildford, London and beyond.

On Campus: The University of Surrey is well aware that students like cheap and like fun, so they do a pretty good job at providing options for you to have both. The Student Union on campus has a whole host of events and activities that are offered at reasonable prices if not for free, that you can find here. For example, you can take a day trip to Brighton for 8 pounds 50 and explore the area, where it would cost more than double to travel there with a 16-25 rail card and over 30 pounds without a rail card. They have trips to other areas in the UK such as Salisbury, Portsmouth and Canterbury all for a much more reasonable price than getting a ticket yourself. The campus also Hari’s bar, a cheaper bar and great hangout spot that has free open mike nights on Thursdays and Hari’s Challenge (aka pub quiz night) on some Tuesdays for only 1 pound. You can get tickets to the bigger events here, which also includes cheaper tickets to activities like musicals and like Playzone which is basically a giant indoor adventure area that has nights for adults to bring out their inner child. The Student Union also offers more chill nights, like free movie nights on campus and free zumba classes (which I’m just discovering as we speak, by the way) in Rubix, the on campus club. This might sound weird, but the Rubix is a great open space that also hosts the on campus farmer’s market on Thursdays (that has much cheaper produce options) and transforms into a nightclub that also has cheap drinks and pretty baller music.
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Professional Development at Surrey

If you are anything like myself, you understand the feeling of dread and terror associated with holiday time and seeing extended family that is all too keen to ask you “so, what are you doing after you graduate?” This question plagued my senior year of undergrad. The uncertainty of employment after graduation is undeniably scary and preparing for the application process, creating a resume or CV, and researching companies can seem like daunting tasks. Lucky for us, Surrey has a fantastic track record when it comes to graduate employability and numerous tools to help students combat the fear and uncertainty associated with the job hunt.
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Tips on How to be Productive Instead of Netflix

As an MSc student, you have far more “self study” time than Undergrad. The amount of hours of class you have per week is far less (about 10 hours for me though it depends on the program) and of course you’re expected to push out much higher quality work. With all of this free time on your hands, it can be hard not to fall into the deep pits of Netflix and procrastinate. I have definitely fallen into the trap of How I Met Your Mother automatically playing the next episode right after a 22 min. episode ends. You think to yourself, “Oh, another 20 minutes of my time isn’t that much to lose to the world of sit coms” and then find yourself being tired and lazy hours later not having done what you set out to do for the day. This is not just about Netflix, but about any guilty pleasure vice, using involving social media or . If you’ve managed to avoid falling into the black hole of your computer screen, then I’m impressed. However I’m not that kinda gal, I need to keep myself busy in order to be productive. I like to think of myself in terms of the little bit of physics that I remember from high school: an object in motion stays in motion. Though I usually oppose to objectification, in this case I am the object. If I’m on the move, I stay on the move and am much more productive and efficient with my time. It’s much more challenging for me to get stuff done if I’m a stopped object, meaning I’m in my bed watching Netflix, aka a lump of potato.
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Wintery Copenhagen

First trip of 2017 was to the beautiful city of Copenhagen in Denmark! My sister and I have wanted to go for years, but only had the opportunity since she moved to England with me in September. We went with three of my other friends from the university.

 

Hostel:

The hostel we stayed at was amazing. We stayed at the Urban House hostel. By far one of the nicest I have been in. It was very clean and well designed. The check in was automated and has lockers to hold your luggage before check in and after check out. There were also other amenities you don’t expect to find like bike rental on site, a movie theatre, and live music. We booked a six person room that had an ensuite bathroom and shower. It was perfect for us and only cost £22 a night when split between us. I highly suggest looking for a room to book when traveling with a bigger group. You pay for the room and not individual beds. This also meant we were guaranteed to have all the space to ourselves even if we didn’t fill all the beds. We stayed for dinner one night at the bar to take advantage of their happy hour and ordered burgers. They were delicious and fairly cheap. There were vegan and vegetarian options too!
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Studying on a Budget: Savings Tips and Federal Aid

When I began considering postgraduate programmes, one of the first issues that came to mind was how I would manage to fund my studies, let alone studies abroad. I had known for years that I’d like to study in the UK, however, the cost of living and the US Dollar to Great British Pound exchange rate worried me. I had studied in London for a summer two years previously and recalled living off of only bacon (British bacon is so much nicer than American bacon) and eggs my last week and a half because I had drained my savings for the trip and didn’t have money for much else. I was determined to not let that happen this time. After research, help from the university, and budgeting, I found that studying at Surrey was not only feasible but potentially even more financially reasonable than studying back home. This post details my findings and will hopefully assure you that studying in the UK, specifically at Surrey, is still possible for money-conscious students such as myself.
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Boothroyd’s Abroad: Jasmine’s Story

Over the years I have written blogs about various friends doing study abroad programs in the UK. They mostly have been people who have only done a 3 to 4-month program with their university in the USA. This time I’d like to share the story of my own sister. Unlike the rest, she properly took the plunge and moved to England for her entire degree! She did her undergrad in the USA and is now doing her masters in the UK. I asked her several questions about her first 6 months. Read her answers below.
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