This month, we have two students that we are featuring on our Sycamore Spotlight. The first was Bethany C. who is studying at our partner school American College of Thessaloniki in Greece. Now we want to highlight Holly D. who is studying abroad at another partner school, Edge Hill University in England.
Holly is a Sophomore majoring in Social Studies Education. She also has a minor in International Studies and is in the Honors Program. Check out what she has to say about her time in England:
I am currently studying abroad for the fall semester in northwest England at Edge Hill University, which is located in a small town named Ormskirk. Ormskirk isn’t too far from Liverpool, England (home of the Beatles). I’ve really enjoyed my experience so far, but it is just going by so quickly!
I’ve met international students from all over the world plus students from the U.K., but most of my friends are from different parts of the U.S. because we are the ones who take weekend trips together. We don’t exactly get a fall break while we are here, so we try to spend the weekends visiting other parts of the U.K. or Europe. I have classes four days a week and during the day when I’m not working on assignments or in class, I’m usually planning for these weekend trips.
The main academic difference between here and Indiana State is the class setup. I only have four classes, there are multiple instructors in multiple classrooms, classes can last for several hours only once a week, and my grade is only based on one or two assessments. I spend more time reading and researching for my assignments rather than studying and doing homework because there aren’t any exams.
One of the things that I like most about living here is getting to walk into town several times a week. The town of Ormskirk has a little clock tower in the center and four main streets going off of it. Down each street there are local shops, chain brands, restaurants, and really anything you need. Ormskirk is also a historic market town that operates a market twice a week.
I also visit Liverpool quite a bit since it is only a 30 minute train ride away from the Ormskirk train station. Whenever I go to Liverpool it is to either do some shopping or to catch a connecting train to somewhere else in the U.K. Since Liverpool is a much bigger city that Ormskirk, the one train station travels long distance to London or Scotland, for example.
My friends and I have taken a few trips and will continue to take a few more throughout the semester. Almost every weekend is now booked with some kind of activity or trip. So far I’ve been to a couple cities in England including London and York, and then Wales, Northern Ireland, France, and Ireland. I am also planning to go to Scotland soon.
Before I came to the U.K. I didn’t know anyone else that was also going to study abroad at Edge Hill. I’m so glad that I met one of my new best friends (and fellow Sycamore!), Dana, after arriving. We have had several travel adventures together and I’m glad that we will get to remain close when we are back at home.
I am blessed to have this opportunity to come to this country for school, but yet still have time for traveling to new places, seeing new things, and learning what each place has to offer. They say study abroad changes you and as I’ve thought about it, this experience has made me so much more independent and confident. I also believe that this experience has changed my perspective of the world and I can’t wait to see where else it will take me.