Crossing the Atlantic

An insight into life at Surrey from current US students

We March for Women in London Too!

So as many of you may know, Trump’s inauguration was this past Friday. And as many of you may also know, a whole bunch of strong, powerful women and men in America took a stand for human rights the following day in the big Women’s March in Washington and cities around the U.S. You may also know that it was the biggest protest in history, with marches also happening in major cities around the WORLD. January 21st, 2017 is now an important day in history and a day to remember, much more so than January 20th, 2017, the day Trump said would be marked in history. I was SO happy I got to be a part of all of it in the march that took place in London with some of my high school friends from Chicago and over 100,000 other Americans and Brits. I felt powerful being able to take part in America politics even from across the world. The enthusiasm in the crowd left me with goosebumps and the camaraderie we all felt amongst each other left me feeling safe. I was a little nervous going into it because it was my first march, but I’m unbelievably glad that I had access to it in London and was able to be there. My intuition tells me this will not be the last time I march.
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Halfway Through my Placement Year

200 days later and I am over halfway through my software engineering internship at Microsoft. The time has flown by. Every day is a new challenge and makes me grow as a developer, and a professional. I am inspired by the work that the team does and it encourages me to use every opportunity I get to learn and improve myself.

I love this team. It is an incredibly diverse team with people from all over the world and a variety of passions. Just at my table group of 12 people, there are backgrounds from England, America, Turkey, Portugal, Italy, and India. We learn from each other and share stories of what it is like around the world.
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Global Graduate Award Opportunities at Surrey

Happy Friday! This week’s blog post is about optional coursework at Surrey.

There are of course many differences between studying in the UK and the US, however, one of the most striking differences that I have found is just how tailored and specific coursework in the UK is compared to coursework at home. Although it varies between American universities, it is a safe bet to make that most require students to complete some sort of “gen eds” – a.k.a. general education requirements. Typically these are comprised of one or two courses from different educational disciplines – natural sciences, social sciences, mathematics, and foreign languages. In the UK, coursework is tailored to the student’s subject and it is uncommon for students to be required to take classes outside of their discipline.
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Windsor

I can’t believe it took me so long to go to Windsor. Not only is it trivial and cheap to get to, it is absolutely gorgeous! From London, I only had to pay £7 for a return trip from Paddington Station to Windsor. It took about 30-40 minutes to get to and stopped in slough. The journey was super simple though. Transferring to the other train meant simply walking across to the other side of the platform and then it was only one stop to Windsor from Slough.

Immediately arriving in Windsor, you are greeted with a market of little shops with quaint English design. Part of this shopping area is covered by a glass roof that allows it to be used in all weather. We had bought tickets online for Windsor Castle that included a special exhibit of 90 years of the Queens fashion to celebrate her 90th birthday and longest reigning monarch. The tickets were about £20, typical for any major English attraction, and the exhibit did not cost extra, so I recommend going when there is an extra exhibit to get your money’s worth. An extra bonus with Windsor tickets is the opportunity to have your ticket signed and transformed into a year unlimited pass. After seeing the castle, I will be going back. I was astounded.
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Transport In and Around the UK

I remember when I first considered studying abroad one of my biggest concerns about studying in the UK was that by the UK being an island, rather than in mainland Europe, I’d miss out on the opportunity to travel. This fear was quickly squashed when I realized how user-friendly and affordable travel in and around the UK really is. The following post will hopefully shed some light on just how accessible all corners of Guildford, the UK, and Europe are.

Within Guildford:

By Foot: One of the greatest things about Guildford is how walkable of a town it is. Guildford has not only a bustling city center but also a fair share of greenery and parks, such as Stoke Park. To access it all, budget about a 15-20-minute walk from Stag Hill Campus.
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New Year’s in Central London

The second half of my winter break was unforgettable! My parents treated my sister, her friend visiting from America, my boyfriend, and I to afternoon tea at the Soho Hotel in central London. The hotel was so funky! Lots of bright pinks and greens mixed with classic architecture. It somehow looked good together. We were sat in a special tea room with couches surrounding a wooden coffee table. It was massive and thank goodness for that. When the tea arrived, the whole table was filled! There were three stacked trays between us and a couple smaller plates of finger sandwiches. We got the tea with some champagne to cheers to the new year. This was the first time I have eaten the food, besides a couple of cookies, at tea because I am a picky eater. I was very pleased with myself! I had hummus and rocket finger sandwiches, scones with clotted cream, a puffed cheese ball, and a couple other things. It always surprising how full I get; we took two boxes of desserts home. For a 5-star hotel in central London, the tea was reasonably priced. The base was £25, with Bellini was £30, and champagne was £35. The whole experience is unforgettable. There are Groupons that are worth looking at if you want a cheaper tea. I have also been told Devon, in the southwest, has the best afternoon tea.
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