I’d like to start with introducing myself, my name is Danielle and I am currently studying International Event Management MSc at University of Surrey. I have just joined the USA blog team as an International Student Ambassador. I have lived in a few states in the United States, which have been Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee. Therefore, I have had the unique experience of living with the snow and cold weather throughout the year to the sunny and warm weather for the majority of the year. As much as I loved all three states sometimes it is the right time for a new experience! That decision of wanting a new experience led me to Guildford.
I completed my Bachelors degree in 2017 and then entered the corporate world. The work experience and industry knowledge that I gained was fantastic, but it was not a job that I was passionate about so I began to look towards new opportunities. From an early age I always wanted to work in the everchanging event industry, but getting my foot in the door was challenging. In January 2019 I decided to start looking at postgraduate programs in event management. Throughout this search I noticed the majority of the programs in the US were in sports, but I was more interested in the music or film side and then came across the international factor. International Event Management became the focus of my search and I discovered the program at University of Surrey. After looking through the module descriptions I knew immediately that this was the postgraduate program I wanted to pursue and when I received my acceptance I was thrilled!
I had studied abroad before in Europe so travelling overseas was not new to me, but had never been to England. This was a major decision in my life because I was leaving my job and returning to school outside of the country. I could not take all my possessions with me and did not know anyone in the UK. While many people asked me if I would be nervous, I was more excited than anything because this was a new experience and an adventure to embark on!
After months of waiting and preparing, September came and I had arrived at Heathrow airport. The University had and option for a meet and greet at the airport to assist international students with travelling from the airport to the University accommodation. Those were the very first students I met and they were incredibly welcoming with smiles and snacks after a 7 ½ hour flight. They helped me with my luggage and then I was on the bus and off to the University, many of us for the very first time.
The meet and greet is during the week of the International Student Orientation Program that the University puts together the week before Freshers week. They put special programs for the international students and the groups of the tours are much smaller, which was more accommodating for me since I was still adjusting to the change of a new country. It was easier to meet the other international students before all of the UK and EU students arrived that weekend.
One of my favorite experiences that the University organized during this week was the trip to Loseley Park in Guildford. When we arrived on the bus we were taken on an incredibly interesting tour through the house. The guide as engaging and it was my first immersive experience into English culture and history. After the tour we were able to relax in the tea room on the grounds. Tea and scones were provided and I was able to connect with the other students making new friends within the three days I had been on campus.
From the moment I arrived on campus I have felt welcomed and have had amazing experiences. I have been through the research and decision-making process and truly hope that my insight and experiences throughout the year may help you out in your own decision-making process. If you have any questions or inquires feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to updating my fellow Americans on these experiences and adventures on a weekly basis!