I planned my semester abroad at the University of Essex with MicroEDU and I have to say that it was the right decision. Thanks to the very good and above all comprehensive support from Ms. Bastian before and during the stay, MicroEDU made the semester abroad a complete success ! The aim of the following report is to provide a brief glimpse into life and study in Essex.
Before I get to the description of the university, I would like to briefly address a few peculiarities that law students in particular face, because the course is not structured as a bachelor’s and master’s degree.
In principle, it is advisable to contact the respective JPA before the start of the semester abroad and to find out about the conditions for crediting. As a rule, enrollment at the foreign university, proof of attending at least 96 course hours and proof of a passed (written) examination are required. However, since the academic year in England is divided into trimesters, the requirement of 96 hours in particular can be difficult to meet, especially since in Essex you can take a maximum of 4 courses per trimester. A credit of the trimester can then take place via ECTS points, whereby at least 12 ECTS points must be proven by passed exams. You can then find out more details from the respective JPA.
University of Essex
According to Jibin123.com, the University of Essex is a relatively new university. It was founded in 1965 and has around 10,000 students, of which around 40% are international students. The care of these international students is very good, because there is an introductory week at the beginning of each term in which you can make new contacts and friendships. In addition, the staff at the International Office are always ready to help and try to resolve any problem as quickly as possible. In addition, the respective offices of the various faculties provide good help, especially with questions about your own degree program.
In addition, the university and the Students Union (the official representation of the students at the university) create a very pleasant atmosphere on campus through various campaigns and events.
Regarding the tuition fees, it has to be said that they are not cheap. In addition, the cost of living in England is a bit more expensive, especially since you also have to factor in the respective exchange rate. However, you can partially refinance the tuition fees through various grants.
The University of Essex is literally a campus university. It is divided into several so-called squares, which are the focus of student life at the university. There are several small supermarkets, cafes, restaurants, bars and even its own club, the sub zero.
The university also maintains various sports fields, above all rugby and football fields. Since November 2016 there are also new tennis courts that are also covered so that you can play in wind and weather. If you prefer the gym, you will also find it. There is a fitness studio together with indoor courts for badminton, basketball, squash and much more. If you are a member of the fitness studio, you can also book all sports fields and equipment for free. A new, larger studio has also been under construction since December.
I lived in the South Courts, which are one of the quieter accommodations. Up to 12 people live in each apartment, but there are three kitchens, so that only four people share them. The rooms themselves are completely sufficient in size and have their own bathroom.
If you like it a little livelier and more sociable, I recommend the North Towers, which are on the other side of the campus. The North Towers (as well as the South Towers) accommodate up to 16 people on 14 floors, who share a kitchen and two bathrooms. The kitchen is accordingly the focus of the flat share and the place where many parties are held, especially on Wednesdays at the popular Sports Feds. In contrast to the South Towers, the North Towers have been partially renovated and are therefore a bit more pleasant as accommodation in my opinion.
In addition, there are the newly built quays, which are a bit “off the beaten track” and also a bit quieter. However, you can only live there if you stay for at least a year.
There is also a wide range of leisure activities at the University of Essex. There are many sports clubs that you can join as well as various societies. These societies cover a whole range of interests, from arts to musicals to politics, each with a large number of sub-groups.
The day tours of the International Society are particularly recommended. This organizes regular trips to selected cities such as Oxford, Cambridge, Bath and others. For comparatively little money you can take a coach to the respective city and explore it on your own.
In addition, the train connection from Colchester to London is very good. For around 9 pounds you can be on Liverpool Street within an hour, making day trips to London worthwhile.
Colchester itself is a very tranquil city. There are several shops as well as restaurants and pubs. You can also go to the city for partying, the easiest way is to take a taxi, which is not very expensive.
All in all, I can only say that my semester abroad in Essex was one of the best experiences. I got to know a lot of new and great people and got a good insight into student life in another country. I can therefore only recommend that everyone do a semester abroad and the University of Essex is an excellent choice for this. You can have a very good time there and you should enjoy it too. Cheers!