5 Lessons for Environmentalists Studying in the U.S

By Holly Smith – Wellesley College, MA

After 9 months in the States, I have begun the big post-study abroad reflection. The U.S is an ultra capitalist society and highly focused on growth and prosperity – it’s not exactly known for being environmentally conscious… In this blog post I want to offer some tough lessons that I’ve learned during my time in the U.S and offer some comfort to other environmentalists study abroad.

Continue reading “5 Lessons for Environmentalists Studying in the U.S”

San Francisco in 3 days

By Holly Smith – Wellesley College, MA

My post-study travels include a variety of places in the U.S. but one headliner is definitely San Francisco. I write this blog post having just got off an overnight bus from San Fran to L.A so all reflection are fresh and honest.

Continue reading “San Francisco in 3 days”

Random things I’ve noticed about Arizona State (ASU) and the United States of America (USA)

I wish there was some coherency and consistency to this post but it is merely an elaborative list of things I’ve noticed about living in America, especially at ASU.

Continue reading “Random things I’ve noticed about Arizona State (ASU) and the United States of America (USA)”

What Are Fraternities Really Like?

This post will try to demystify frats for exchange students going to North America, and hopefully persuade you to get involved.

By Joseph McCabe (University of Toronto, Canada)

The inner workings of fraternities are often left as somewhat of a mystery for exchange students. Their obscurity and emphasis on secrecy means that infamous stereotypes usually surround any conversation about frats and, by extension, the guys that are members/brothers within them. This blog should give you some insight into what they’re actually about and encourage you (if you’re a guy) to join one because it has made my year infinitely better – girls can join sororities, but you will have to ask someone else about them.

Continue reading “What Are Fraternities Really Like?”

A Practical Guide to Accommodation in Toronto

By Joseph McCabe (University of Toronto, Canada)

There are four main options for accommodation for exchange students in Toronto: University Halls, Private students’ residence, student co-op housing, and Private renting. I opted to go for a private residence on the edge of campus, which was perfect for me, but I will talk about that later. I will give some general advice first; then, I will go through each of these (there will be a sentence overview after each one if you don’t want to read the whole thing) and finish with what I would advise to make sorting accommodation as stress-free as possible.

Continue reading “A Practical Guide to Accommodation in Toronto”

Trials and Tribulations of International Travel

By Eleanor, Rutgers University (New Jersey, USA)

As it tends to do, the Christmas holidays came and went in a flash, and it was time to return to New Jersey. But would we (and our belongings) make it there in one piece?

Continue reading “Trials and Tribulations of International Travel”

AMERICA RATED.

Well, it has been a while since my last study abroad blog, a lot has happened, the main one being that I am no longer abroad. Now, I am contemplating my time on Rocky Top, Tennessee, underneath the grey skies of Manchester.

In America, I visited 5 cities in total. To try and tell you how different the culture is over there, I decided to review each city for 7 seperate categories. It’s a simple idea. Maybe the rankings might inspire you to take a trip to the Southeast of the USA.

Each city will be ranked for: Food, music, safety, bars, price, stuff to do and architecture.

Continue reading “AMERICA RATED.”

5 Enviro Things Before You Go!

by Holly Smith, Wellesley College

Congratulations on securing your placement on a study abroad scheme – the excitement and adventure starts here and will not stop for a longggg time! In the whirlwind of preparation it can be hard to think about your environmental impact. I’ve collected 5 easy things that you can do before you leave to help reduce the environmental impact of your study abroad experience. Most of these also save you money or time…

Continue reading “5 Enviro Things Before You Go!”

The US does it better?

Now this might just be some anecdotal evidence, and if this is the case you might want to disregard this blog, but it seems as though us Brits (unfortunately??) love a bit of a moan about just about anything and everything.

Two of my Spanish friends picked up on this behaviour of mine quite quickly, and fellow British exchange students have also noted that others have highlighted this too. I mean sure, no one does pubs like us, football, roast dinners, getting sloshed (42s, Factory and 256 seem particularly relevant for Manchester students here), Cadbury’s chocolate, our self-deprecating sense of humour, tea… I could go on and on.

However, there are actually some things (in fact, quite a lot) that I prefer about my experience in Arizona and subsequently the USA.

Continue reading “The US does it better?”

Canadian Transportation Tips

First thing to say is that Canada is massive. Any distance between things you would actually want to see is likely to be the equivalent of going from London to Newcastle – and that’s just within Ontario. Therefore, I would advise against getting the bus between big cities as it just takes too long, and you end up spending half your time away sitting next to fat men on stuffy coaches.

In Ontario, Go Trains would be the ‘go to’ solution (although they are stupidly slow in North America) but travelling inter-province would require VIA Rail. However, whilst the rail-route between Vancouver and Halifax (the whole breadth of Canada) has a global reputation for beautiful scenery and a full Canadian experience, it does take 14 days and costs more than an entire student loan instalment. Whilst it may not be the most environmentally friendly, the only realistic option for longer trips is plane travel.

Planes can be expensive in North America (you won’t find the equivalent of a £20 flight from Manchester to Lisbon), so I’d recommend downloading the ‘Hopper’ app. It lets you track your specific flight and predicts prices so you can get the best deal possible.

(The Hopper App Logo)

You have probably also heard about North American road trips gaining something of cult status in the US, and it’s no different in Canada. Some of the best times I’ve had is whacking on some tunes and driving for hours in the Canadian wilderness. It may be more expensive than other transport, but it gives much more freedom to explore exactly how you want. It also makes COVID-related entry requirements into the US much easier.

Key Take Aways:

  • Don’t bother with buses
  • Download the Hopper app for cheap flights
  • Road trips are unbeatable