Studying abroad can be an easy decision for some, but for others it may be a harder choice to make. There can be a lot of worry when considering studying in a foreign country for a few months or even a whole year. For Samantha Butz, studying abroad wasn’t an option, it was a requirement from her school to study for a complete academic year. In September 2016, Ms. Butz started her study abroad journey and in a week, her study abroad experience will come to an end.
Challenges and Changes
A challenge that Ms. Butz mentioned was getting to know others when she arrived. Since she lives with a host family in London, she did not get the chance to meet others in school dorms. One of the ways she met others was through social programs offered by the school. These can be a great option if they are offered, as they can be a source to meet people from all over the world.
Normally studying at The University of Applied Sciences in Germany, where her home is, she believes that it is a great requirement from her home school, yet the disadvantage of it for her is that it is put at the end of her academic career, which makes it harder to adapt when it is time to come home afterwards.
A difference between studying in London and at home, in Germany is the work load and exam period. In Germany, students write their exams at the end of the semester. In England, there are different assignments throughout the semester.
While there have been some challenges from this new experience, she talked about her favourite part about her experience, “You learn to handle being by yourself and being more independent.”
Living in London
Instead of living in the school’s housing, Ms. Butz lives with a host family in London. She spoke about it as, “It feels like being at home and being in a family.” It helped with less of a feeling of culture shock and gives a sense of the “real” British life experience and how they act as a family compared to the typical German life. She was originally afraid of British culture, but when asked about her favourite parts about studying abroad, she mentioned the many different cultures.
“Especially [in] London, you always have something to visit,” Ms. Butz said when asked about some of her favourite parts of studying abroad here. Some of her favourite places are the Sky Garden, Tower Bridge, Big Ben and The Shard in Central London. She also enjoys visiting the various markets throughout the city.
One of her hobbies is coding, which she actually learned while here in London. When she first started studying, there was a company that had coding courses, separate from her university courses. She started taking them and kept up with it. She would like to go into IT consulting after she finishes school.
“Even is you’re afraid of going abroad, do it. Now that I’ve been here for eight months, before I was afraid of going abroad, now I’m thinking about staying here for my whole life,” Ms. Butz recommends to those considering the experience of studying abroad.
If you would like to check out pictures from her study abroad experience, take a look at her Instagram.