Studying Abroad In England

If given the opportunity to study abroad anywhere in Europe, the country of my choosing would be England. The university that I would pursue would be the prestigious University of Cambridge, where I would study programming. The university, which is located in the center of the ancient city of Cambridge, England, is just a mere 50 miles away from London. The University of Cambridge was founded in the year of 1209, as a result of an association of scholars that had fled to the town of Cambridge from nearby Oxford, after a conflict with the local townsmen. (University, 2016). It is one of the world’s oldest universities, specifically known as the fourth-oldest surviving university, and serves more than 18,000 students from all over the globe. (How the University, 2013). In regard to academics, the University of Cambridge is commonly ranked in the world’s top 5 universities, and many significant figures have attended this college such as Charles Darwin, Stephen Hawking, and Bertrand Russell. (Murray, 2016). I would enjoy walking down the same halls of where some of these great people once did.

Several aspects impact my decision of choosing to study abroad in England. One of the reasons I chose England, besides it being one of the top schools in the world, is the change of scenery. Living in California has its perks, like amazing sunny weather almost every day, beaches only a short distance away, and a burger joint in every direction you turn. However, to my understanding, it rains approximately 108 days in the year in Cambridge, and to a person such as myself who loves rainy weather, it sounds like a good time. (Average Annual, 2012). Cambridge itself has a rich history that very few cities in California, if any, could measure up to. From its historic, gothic buildings to King’s College Chapel, Cambridge seems like an exhilarating city to be a part of. I myself have never been the type of person to go to museums much, but with the ones they offer such as the Fitzwilliam Museum, which is part of the University of Cambridge, that just might change. (16 of the Best, 2019). The city is also in very close quarters to London, home of the timepiece Big Ben and Buckingham Palace, both of which I have personally always wanted to see in person.

One of my favorite sports to both watch and play is soccer. Ever since I was little and growing up in Russia, me and all of my cousins would play soccer out in the streets and have friendly competitions with each other. Europe has some of the best soccer teams in the world, such as my personal favorite, Manchester United F.C. A few other notable ones are Chelsea F.C., Liverpool F.C., and Arsenal F.C. To have the chance to see any one of these teams in person would, in all honesty, be one of the best experiences I’ve ever had.

While researching the social and living conditions in England, I learned about some factors that I was already semi aware of to begin with but did not realize it was to this degree. For example, I assumed Europe in general is an expensive place to live and go to school, but I learned that things such as food, rent, and other necessities are more than twice as pricy in Europe, particularly the United Kingdom, than they are in the average global city. (Top 10 Facts, 2018). I personally live very close to CSUN currently with my rent being standard for a two bedroom to say the least, so it’s hard to imagine paying double that to live in a small studio apartment. Besides the expensive lifestyle of living in this country, there are other factors that do make England seem appealing to the eye. Their unemployment rate is fairly low, as is their poverty level, and the country ranks highly in women’s equality. (Top 10 Facts, 2018). If I were to weight out my options between studying abroad there and living where I currently do, I would pick attending the University of Cambridge with no hesitation, even with it being a luxurious place to live. Attending a top school like this one has always been a farfetched goal of mine, and no amount of rent would stop me from achieving this goal.

England has great influence all around the world, specifically political influence. Their politics form a large part of the politics of the United Kingdom, and majority of their parties are mainly concerned with English issues such as the English Democrats Party, the English People’s Party, and One England. (Meyer, 1970). Before the union of England and Scotland in the year 1707, England was ruled by a monarch and the Parliament of England. After the two acts of Parliament took effect, England has since then not had its own government. (Meyer, 1970).

The University of Cambridge also provides a variety of academic opportunities that are available to international students. More than a quarter of their undergraduates, around 3,000 students to be exact, are from outside the UK. (Bonetti, 2018). The school has a students’ union, which includes iCUSU, a welcome group for new international students arriving in Cambridge. (Bonetti, 2018). They host and organize social events for freshman orientation week, and also throughout the year, acting as a way to connect with new people and make students feel more comfortable, which I think is a great gesture.

All of the reasons I have mentioned are just a fraction of why I would enjoy studying in this country. I feel as if I would never get bored living in England. Even as the school seems nerve-wracking to attend with its reputation, I would be an independent student in a new foreign country, which is definitely more exciting to me than scary.

07 September 2020
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