Hi! My name is Alexis, a student from Canada almost done completing my master’s degree in Public Health in Chester, England. As a mature student, it was a big deal for me to quit my job back in Canada, get rid of my apartment and car, and fit everything I would need for 12 months into 2 suitcases. Also, as a mature student, packing my bags and choosing to study abroad in England with the help of Across the Pond was one of the best choices I have made yet.
I am a very studious and academic person, but also have a huge love for the outdoors and exploring. Studying in England has allowed me to get the best of both. Chester is an ancient Roman walled city on the North Welsh border, with transport links getting me to the Welsh mountains in under 2 hours. In my spare time, myself and my new friends travel into the mountains regularly for some much needed stress relief from our studies.
Studying in England at a Post Graduate level was a big adjustment to me compared to the North American University school system. There is much less time in the classroom and lectures compared to the University system I am used to, and the grading system is completely different. The first time I got an assignment grade back and received a 65% I was very disappointed, but after some help from my peers I realized a 65% in the English school system is not such a bad thing. I wish I knew about this difference beforehand, so this is my advice to you; make sure you understand the grading system fully before getting upset or excited about how you have done on your first assignment abroad!
All in all, as I reflect on my time here in Chester, I couldn’t be more pleased with my choice to come to England, and I couldn’t have made it here without the help of Across the Pond. My Student Advisor helped me decide what universities I might be interested in based on my program of study and personal interests, helped me at all stages of the application process (including writing an application essay!), and even shared scholarship offers with me. Across the Pond is an amazing organisation, who helped turn the big deal of packing my bags and moving abroad into something achievable and memorable for the rest of my life.