A Year Studying in America

Jack Bell – BSc Media and Communication 

My name is Jack, I am a Media & Communications undergraduate at the University of Surrey, and I have recently completed two semesters at the University of Central Florida in the United States. I could not recommend doing a study abroad year at UCF highly enough! 
It is understandable to feel nervous and overwhelmed about the adventure you are about to embark on, but as soon as I arrived in Florida I felt at home! With the amazing weather, number of theme parks and endless amount of opportunities this state has to offer, there is no doubt that my study abroad year was the best of my life. 

A trip to Universal Studios, Florida
A trip to Universal Studios, Florida

The global ambassadors at the University of Central Florida were so friendly and welcoming and organized many trips and activities for fellow exchange students to get involved in. You are guaranteed to make so many friends from all over the world and attend several events and parties that I, for one, will remember for the rest of my life. Everyday offered something inviting and new and I am so fortunate to be able to say that I have visited so many different, interesting places including Miami, Chicago and New York to name a few. 
The fact that I was there for such a long time gave me the chance to live like a local by attending loads of college sports games (which Americans take very seriously!), travel for Thanksgiving and Spring Break, and partake in so many other events – the list is endless! 

Getting involved in a football team

The university and student life itself differs entirely to the rest of the world. UCF is home to approximately 70,000 students and the campus and its facilities are state of the art. When walking around it the first time, I was so impressed and felt as if I never wanted to leave. The way classes and lectures work also differ to the UK, and offers a really interesting and new perspective on how to learn, giving you new skills that can be applied to the rest of your academic and working career. 

If you are thinking of study abroad, do not think twice as you may not have this opportunity of a lifetime again (also, why be in England during a cold day in January when you could be relaxing on Miami beach in the sun, instead!). I am already planning trips to visit Florida and UCF again and will forever cherish my time here. 

Additionally, the Santander grant* proved to be an exceptional help for my year abroad funding. It allows those from disadvantaged backgrounds the opportunity to live and immerse themselves in a different culture and ensures that diversity and inclusion is not to be looked over.

“There is no doubt that my study abroad year was the best year of my life”

*students must apply for a Santander grant . They are available for students going on a study exchange after they have been allocated a partner institution.