Study Abroad in Florida

Madeline Childs – BSc (Hons) Criminology

I studied abroad at the University of Central Florida which is located in Orlando, Florida. I never planned on studying abroad until the applications opened. However, after a great deal of debating, it is safe to say that this was one of my best decisions I have ever made — it was absolutely incredible and it is an experience I will never forget!

UCF was an amazing opportunity for me as I am a naturally more quiet person but it taught me independence and improved my confidence. Being in a new country and surrounded by new faces that all were in the same boat as me, I knew that I had to push myself out of my comfort zone and I am so glad that I did. I have met a variety of amazing people who I consider my forever friends. Everyone in UCF Global, a club made to introduce new exchange students to the university and each other, was so welcoming and helpful. They helped me settle in and offered me support when I needed it. I am so thankful for them!

I primarily chose UCF due to it being in America and I believed that, due to our similarities yet prominent differences, it would be useful for my degree, Criminology. The modules I chose offered me an insight into the American laws and also allowed me an in-depth knowledge of aspects within criminology that I find incredibly interesting. For example, I studied Interviews and Interrogations. This was a module that focused on improving our abilities in interviewing suspects and determining when a person is lying to us. We would have mock interviews in class where a student would have to either lie or tell the truth within a certain time frame and it was up to us to figure out whether they were telling the truth. This was particularly fun as it was also a method of getting to know the other students in the class.

Studying in Florida also offered me a great deal of fun opportunities. One highlight would be the opportunities to travel. I went to a bunch of new places including New Orleans, the West Coast, the Bahamas and Mexico. These were all incredible experiences that will forever live on in my memories. Additionally, I was able to do a variety of new, fun things. For example, I made friends with a student who owned a plane and he allowed me (under supervision, of course) to fly it. Never in a million years would I have ever seen myself behind the wheel of a plane so that was a terrifying yet amazing experience. Orlando is also home to several theme parks so, having those so close to me was so much fun. The velocicoaster was definitely a mad first roller coaster but I will never regret it. 

I will never forget the amazing opportunity that my study abroad offered me and, with the grant, it gave me that extra push I needed to gain a variety of new, exciting experiences that I will always remember and cherish.

*Disclaimer: The Santander grants are no longer available for students to apply for beyond the 2023/24 academic year. Please see our MySurrey website for further information about funding available through the Turing Scheme and other grants and scholarships.