Studying Abroad… in Liverpool!
Ever wondered what it’s like to be an international student in Liverpool? I ask Luke, Phoebe and Melina about their time here in Liverpool, and hear their advice on studying abroad!
When did you study at the University of Liverpool?
Luke: Sept ‘17 – Jan ‘18
Phoebe: 2016, First Semester
Melina: I was on my exchange in winter 2016-2017
What did you study? And how different was studying here compared to your home university?
L: History, it was more geared towards self-study, with less contact hours and shorter lectures.
P: Geography, they mark a lot harder in Liverpool than at home but the content was similar but your pass mark was lower than ours.
M: On my exchange I did two English courses and one History course. First off, in Austria, we have no such thing as a separate lecture/tutorial. Our courses are either lectures or tutorials. I prefer the British system as in my opinion, theory and practice should always come hand in hand. I noticed that the courses and the professors in Liverpool/the UK in general are much more relaxed. The tutorials in both subjects centre around vivid discussions- there is no constant pressure to deliver, which I liked. But most importantly, in the UK, there is a month off uni in January for the students to prepare for end-of-term exams or papers. We don’t have that, even though it would be better not to put everyone under pressure. Generally, studying in the UK is a good balance of more easy-going work but it is still (or maybe more) productive.
L: Kasbah and the AJ (because I basically lived in the latter one)
P: The Font; curly fries are the best!
M: Mowgli (Indian street food restaurant)
L: Raz – Obligatory
P: Probably Popworld.
L: Honestly, the last night of Welcome Week was pretty awesome!
P: The Tudor Close dinner; it was a good excuse to buy new clothes and get dressed up with everyone! Plus, free wine!
M: Guy Fawkes
Were you a part of any societies?
L: Yeah, I was part of both the Creative Writing Society and the Archery Club. Loved them both!
P: No, life on campus was super busy anyway so I didn’t feel like I needed to join any societies.
M: Plenty! (Dumbledore’s army, English, Cocktail…) but only went to Salsa society.
What was your first impression of Liverpudlians and British people in general and did that impression change while living here?
L: My first impression was that they’re really polite, open and friendly. And during my stay that didn’t change, it got even stronger. Brits in general and Scousers in particular are the friendliest people I’ve ever met!
P: Honestly, people seemed fake friendly at first but also seemed depressed because of the weather, but everyone on campus was always friendly and helpful and up for a chat. I couldn’t understand the Scouse accent though, and still can’t understand it today!
M: First impression: everyone was super friendly and super helpful (and of course, super polite) but later on I realized that despite the friendliness it’s hard to really connect with British people.
Did you travel to other cities/towns in the UK while you were here? If so where was your favourite place?
L: I’ve been to Chester, Edinburgh, Bakewell, York, Glasgow, London, Manchester and Conwy. Next to that I did some local travel in Merseyside and to be honest I loved Chester the most because it had a lovely atmosphere and beautiful architecture.
P: I travelled pretty much everywhere I could from North Wales to the Stonehenge. Edinburgh was my favourite because the city is so cool and pretty and has a good nightlife. When I was there the Christmas markets were open and it was just magical.
M: I did! Lake District, Edinburgh, Manchester and London. Edinburgh was my favourite.
Tell us about your home uni/city/country?
L: I’m studying in Amsterdam, at the University of Amsterdam. The uni is in the city centre which means it’s always busy – in a good way! – and it’s really nice to leave uni and immediately be next to the lovely canals!
P: I come from New South Wales Australia, and study at Newcastle University. Newcastle has a country-meets-city vibe to it, so both chilled Australian vibes but also all that city life has to offer: cafes, bars and the beach. If you decide to come study here make sure you stay at the international house, which is a mix residential for international people and Australians and it has a really nice community feel to it (and has its own pool!). How do I put Australia into words? It’s just amazing for the weather, the people, the banter; Australians are friendly, outgoing and always up for adventures.
M: I live in Austria and study at the University of Salzburg. Salzburg (and Austria in general) is a great place to live in- beautiful (especially Salzburg and the surrounding area), safe, organized and very clean. There are ski resorts nearby (for those who would like to try it out or advance in it) and those who have a passion for hiking and lakes will love it. The people are a bit more distant than British people, which can be irritating at first. Salzburg University is, in my opinion, competent, but it has high demands. The credit system works differently- one receives much less credits for a course, so be prepared to take up multiple courses. This can be a bit scary sometimes, especially when you’re used to 3-4 courses.
Cheesy questions to end with:
Advice for people thinking about studying abroad?
L: Do it! Honestly, do it. No matter where you go, you’ll always meet amazing people, learn about the world and you’ll grow as a person!
P: Do it. It’s the best experience you can possibly have. You get to meet like-minded people from all over the world who you’ll become amazing friends with and you’ll always have a place to stay with them when travelling!
M: Yes. DO IT. Other than that, start planning early enough to sort it all out in time. Don’t get nervous if the courses change in the first couple of weeks on Erasmus, it’s typical. Make sure you receive the respective credits at your home university. Party, make friends, travel as much as you can. Try out new things. Join as many societies as possible. This is your chance to be(come) yourself.
What was the most important thing you learned/took away from the experience of living in Liverpool?
L: That being abroad means that next to learning about others, you’ll also learn about yourself. It made me grow as a person, socially and academically, and it’s a part of my life that I will never forget!
P: It gave me the chance to network and create connections that could become really useful in the future and it helped me grow as a person.
M: Independence. Lust for life. International friends. Love.