Study Abroad in Florida

Magdalena Florentyna – BSc (Hons) International Event ManagementStudy Exchange at University of Central Florida

My Dearest University of Surrey Student and Adventurous Traveler,

Before you begin the adventure of your life, let me share the wisdom I gained during my odyssey and give you advice, that will prepare you to discover the unknown lands of America and even save your life. 

In the Sunshine State of Florida, the nature can be untamed. Beware the lurking alligators, the nonchalant iguanas, the tempestuous hurricanes, and the unrelenting heat. Do not let Fahrenheit fool you. On the hot days cool off in the pool or with a cup of iced coffee. 

If you are to come to the great University of Central Florida, acquaint yourself with the peculiarities of American academia. Prepare yourself for the fervour of American Football games and tailgating (Go Knights!), explore the quirks of Greek life, and partake in hundreds of traditions and celebrations. Meet local scholars and fellow travellers, and join one or two of the countless clubs. Do not fear loneliness. Lively and outgoing locals shall swiftly become your friends. 

Do not forget the primary purpose of your journey – the pursuit of knowledge. If placement year is your time of travel, choose modules of an unconventional nature. “Introduction to Entertainment Industry” and “Exploring Wines of the World” were my joys, who knows what awaits you? Do not fear the workload. I can assure you that there will be time for studies and for explorations. 

In moments of reprieve, explore Orlando’s gems. Transform into a witch or a wizard in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter or dance with Cinderella in the colourful Magic Kingdom. Look out for alligators in Florida swamps or admire the achievements of science at Kennedy Space Center. 

In your leisure, explore other parts of the mysterious American land. Visit New Orleans to learn the secrets of Voodoo, try beignet – the famous doughnuts, wander the streets of the French Quarter and take a trip to the mystical swamps. 

Chicago, the city of gangsters, awaits your exploration. Uncover the history that lurks in its shadowed alleyways, admire the Cloud Gate and overcome your fear of heights by ascending to the top of Willis Tower. Depart not without trying the world-famous deep dish pizza.  

Do not omit Miami, if you want to taste the best Kuban cuisine, in Little Havana, immerse yourself in the shapes and colours of street art in Wynwood Walls and enjoy the sun while resting on white beaches. 

Yet, dearest friend, be mindful that certain marvels, held dear in our homeland, remain undiscovered by the denizens of this foreign land. Kettles are here an enigma (please, keep from my English friends the revelation that I brewed tea in a microwave) and the era of fine tea in America concluded in Boston in 1773. However, flavours from the American land and all over the world await there to be discovered. And do not be surprised if the local language baffles you! Drink “soda”, eat “potato chips” and enjoy “candy” from time to time. 

Should danger cross your path, do not hesitate to contact me. I shall await your letter with great anticipation and will ensure that you return to the Great British land safe and with the mind full of joy and experiences. 

Yours in Friendship and Adventure 

Magdalena Florentyna 
Final Year International Events Management Student