Hey y’all, I’m Cooper, Surrey’s newest ambassador to the ol’ US of A. Hailing from the backwaters of New York, I made my escape across the pond to take Creative Music Technology at the University of Surrey. All jokes aside coming over here is one of the best decisions that I’ve made in a sea of bad ones. I was born in New York City at the turn of the century, before moving into the Suburban nightmare that is Westchester when I was about 9. Around the same time, I picked up the guitar and found my passion for music. During High School, I made the difficult decision to give up my very possible and realistic dream of becoming a cornerback for the New York Giants, and instead focused my effort on music, enrolling in my high school’s music technology program.
I remember my junior year of high school for many things most of them bad, but it was also the first time I heard about Surrey. I was talking to my father about colleges and he mentioned that I should check foreign schools out and compare them to American schools. That’s when I found out about the Creative Music Technology program. The Dept. of Music at Surrey ranks second in the UK for music. More importantly, however, is that CMT is a program, unlike anything they have in the states. It was more catered to my interests and became one of the top contenders of Schools.
After an incredibly lengthy and stressful process of applying to 12 different schools (two being in the UK), I decided to pick Surrey. Mostly because of the course, but also because I really liked the look of the campus and its facilities. Also, one of the perks of going to school in the UK, (and by extension Europe) is that it’s so much cheaper than American Schools, even with air travel! After another lengthy and stressful process of attaining my tier 4 visa over the summer, I finally left for Surrey in September of 2018.
It might be interesting to mention that before coming to University I had never been to Europe before. I had only ventured to other states, Canada a couple of times, and briefly Mexico and Central America. So moving to the UK was a pretty scary experience for me to say the least. Coming to Surrey, however, I immediately felt at home. It’s different, but not so different that things don’t make sense. It also makes it easier to acclimate when there are very strong cultural ties between the two countries.
The University was incredibly helpful on move-in day with student ambassadors posted in all corners to help any lost freshers. I met so many incredible people that week including my course mates who have become some of the best friends I have. Freshers week felt like half informative tutorial, and half party and was one of the wildest while useful times I’ve ever had. After that, things calmed down quite a bit as classes started and people got into what they actually came here to do.
After living here for a year Guildford really has become a second home, and in some ways, I even prefer it to the states. I’ve moved out of student accommodation and have rented a house with the friends I made the last year. My course remains excellent however much harder it gets during second year, and the University as a whole has made my first two years in the UK amazing.
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