Dropping to around -15.1 degrees Celsius during its harsh winter months, the weather in Calgary is a little different to that in Manchester. Although I don’t miss the soggy Mancunian weather a great deal, the gruesome stories I have been told about frost bite, as well as the violent arctic winds that sweep across campus, has me slightly worried.
Imogen Henry-Campbell, Case Western Reserve University, USA
Case Western Reserve University is a small school compared to Manchester or some of the largest state schools like NC State. While it is less well known then schools like the University of California or Arizona State, Case is a really good choice for study abroad and these are the reasons why:
Private School with Great Opportunities:
Case Western is a private school in America and I felt privileged to experience life at one of the top institutions in America. For a small school, there are so many good facilities and opportunities better your life and career, from networking days to careers events, Case really has it all. Just be prepared to work hard. In the beginning, I found it intimidating being surrounded by such smart and driven people, but their ambition really inspired me and has pushed me to do the same.
Diversity is something that is celebrated at Case Western. There is a good mixture of students from different backgrounds and so many events to get involved on campus. I was introduced to the African Students Association and felt instantly welcomed by the society despite not being from African Heritage, and the same could be said for all other societies guided towards minority students.
There are so many opportunities to get involved in cutting-edge research at Case and it is ranked in the top 20 for research institutions in the US. I was lucky enough to join a research group for my second semester and it was a life-changing experience. I noticed how many students conduct research on top of their studies and the research they are doing is really making an impact on society. There is also a showcase of all the incredible research that is done on campus so if you are a bit of a science nerd like me, Case Western is a great place to get involved in research.
While Greek Life is not for everyone, around 35% of students at Case are Greek. Although Greek life is important to many people, it seems to me that at Case it is a way to meet like-minded people and life-long friends. The Greek community does not dominate campus, and I found many of people involved friendly and easy to talk to. If you are thinking to rush, the fraternities recruitment is very relaxed, while the sororities only formally recruit in the spring semester. I wish I had joined a sorority, so if you are considering it I really recommend attending informal events in the Fall Semester.
Cleveland and Trying new things
I know that Cleveland has a bit of a bad reputation in America, but I would say this shouldn’t stop you from applying to Case. The campus is located in University Circle which is a nice location around 20 minutes from the downtown area of the city. I got to experience a lot of things I wouldn’t normally do in London or Manchester and I think this is exactly what studying aboard is for. I would suggest going to:
- Coventry Village – A sweet area with good restaurants and coffee shops. Phoenix is a great place to study if you want to get off campus
- Watch a Cavs Game – If you are in Cleveland you have to watch the Cleveland Cavaliers play at least once. Even with the cheapest tickets, you get a good view of the court and basketball is a lot of fun
- Cleveland Museum of Art – A great art museum 5 minutes from campus. On the first Friday of every month, they host a late-night event with music and drinks where you can experience the art galleries late at night.
- Severance Hall – If you enjoy classical music, the Cleveland Orchestra regularly play in the concert hall.
If anyone is unsure about picking Case Western Reserve and wants to talk to me about my experience of studying there then feel free to email me: email@example.com
By Imogen Henry-Campbell, Case Western Reserve University, USA
So I have been in Case Western Reserve for just over two weeks and it has been hectic. After 2 days of travelling including 2 trains and 2 flights, I arrived late at night, extremely tired after being awake for over 24 hours.
When I finally reached campus the sun was shining and it really showcased the lovely campus. My home for the next year is in The Village, an accommodation on the north campus for the upper class (3rd and 4th years). My favourite part of the village is that all the houses overlook the track and field area where the ‘Spartan’ teams train. It feels extremely American and I love it.
It really has been an actioned packed few weeks but I will go through my highlights of what I have discovered so far. For the first week, I had orientation, which is sort of like freshers week in England but led by the University. We were split into groups mainly with freshman in it and had two lovely leaders who took us to all of the events. Although most of the people were a bit younger than me it was a good way to meet new people, get familiar with everything Case has to offer and ease you into the uni life. One part that will stay with me the most was the ‘tradition’ or class photo. As Case is a small school with around 5000 undergrads, every year they take a photo with the new class on the field. It made me feel part of the Case community and I think it’s a great idea.
By Katie Lewin (Simon Fraser University, Canada)
My first two weeks in Canada and SFU have been so busy I have barely had a minute to let it sink in! After two lonely days in Vancouver sorting out a phone and exploring, I took a taxi to SFU. I hadn’t been nervous about starting until I saw the mountain looming in the distance and it hit me how much of a big adventure I was undertaking.
Moving into my accommodation was fine with everyone being very helpful, however, it was early to move in (which mainly first years do), so my accommodation was very empty which was a slightly strange experience. However, I was able to make plenty of friends through orientation week, which I hadn’t realised would be so hard-core (7am to 9pm every day). Highlights of orientation included a great inspirational speech by a comedian/musician, the cheerleaders teaching us the SFU chant and a day trip to Lynn Valley. This was very different to Manchester’s Fresher’s week, which I surprisingly hadn’t expected, with more activities and guidance such as campus tours, which are great when everything is new.
Being on a campus university on top of a mountain is extremely different to Manchester and something I am still not sure on. The campus is small which can be great for getting to classes, but also means there is a limited amount of things to do. The bus to downtown Vancouver takes an hour, which isn’t too bad but isn’t as convenient. However, the facilities on campus are great and there are some great views of Vancouver and the surrounding mountains, especially from Burnaby Mountain Park. I am not looking forward to when the rainy weather kicks in, as it can get very grey and foggy up here, especially as it blends it into the concrete architecture. Although it has cleverly been designed so you can walk from residence to class without having to walk in the rain. In the coming week are the club days, so I am looking forward to see what’s on offer and getting more involved in university life. Classes so far have been more similar to Manchester lectures than I anticipated, the main difference being the expensive textbooks that some the classes require.
Weekends are busy with exploring and activities, especially as my to-do list only seems to grow. Attending the SFU homecoming football game was a weird experience, they are as stereotypical as you imagine and exactly like the movies! Having access to both mountains, beaches and the city is amazing, sunset at Kitsilano Beach can’t be missed! I already have my tickets ready for a Vancouver Giants hockey game and a trip to Whistler. There is just so much to do and I can’t wait!