Since I had been planning to spend a semester abroad as part of my studies for a long time, I first found out about different universities on the MicroEDU website. The University of Essex was chosen because it offered a number of courses that fit my studies well. I am studying international licensing law (LL.M.) at the Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences. The advice from CC was very professional. There was always someone available for questions. So I can only recommend CC.
MicroEDU takes over the online application after submitting all the necessary documents. After a successful application you will soon receive a message from the University of Essex that you have been accepted. At some time intervals up to the day of arrival, you will receive information on course selection and a welcome pack containing some interesting information about the course of the first week etc.
I chose the South Courts when choosing my accommodation. Here, 6 people live in one accommodation and share the kitchen. Each has its own room with a small bathroom. The accommodation is not that new anymore, but I felt very comfortable there after settling in there. If you want to live a little cheaper, you can do so in North or South Towers. There you have to share the accommodation with 16 people. Of course you have to realize that there is always something going on and there is a lot of celebrations. You also share the shower and bathroom. It was a bit too much for me personally, but I think it’s also a good opportunity to get to know people quickly. The Meadows and Quays are accommodations that are located a little further off the campus. Above all, the quays are a little further out and unfortunately you don’t get much of campus life. These two accommodations are also only given to students who are staying in Essex for a year. The houses are constructed in a similar way to the South Courts and you can quickly get to the center of the campus. I got on really well with my roommates and can’t say anything negative about living together. However, you have to be aware by and large that the rents on campus are a lot higher than off campus and take this into account in your budget planning.
According to Liuxers.com, the campus is a lot bigger than you are used to at German universities. In the Freshers` Week you will again have the opportunity to change your course selection or to resolve existing collisions with other courses.
I chose the following courses:
- Introduction to Public International Law (2500 Word Essay)
- British Society and Culture (2000 word essay)
- Cybercrime (2500 Word Essay)
- The protection of Indigenous Peoples and Minorities in International Law (4000 word essay)
There are 4 courses to choose from, each corresponding to 60 Essex credits (30 ECTS). I can especially recommend the courses “The Protection of Indigenous Peoples and Minorities in International Law” and “British Society and Culture”. The lecturers make the lecture very interesting and are always open to questions and suggestions. The lecturers are generally much more helpful than at German universities. You always get support and help if you run into problems or if you don’t make progress with your essay. You never get the impression that questions are undesirable or that the lecturers want to “get rid of” you. I had an essay to write in all four courses. The length of the essay depends on the level of the course.
Here I come to the only point of criticism that I have to address to the university. For the courses in the Department of Law, the topics were only received 4-5 weeks before submission, which was due to the fact that it was only decided internally at that time that the Abroad Students would receive different topics than the British students and also write a little fewer words had to. I would have liked that such things had been decided in advance and that there would have been a little more time to work on the essays, since it is definitely very time-consuming to work on four essays in four weeks. The time required is extremely high, especially for courses at master’s level. Since I didn’t have any courses to be credited, I only took one master’s course.
There are plenty of opportunities to spend your free time on campus. On the one hand there are different bars / restaurants such as the SU Bar, Top Bar, Zest, The Canteen, Fusion and Frangos. There is also a small supermarket where you can buy some groceries and other things that you need spontaneously. But I would recommend doing your shopping in the supermarket (Tesco or Sainsbury’s). The Lakeside Theater is also nice for a coffee with friends or a show. The Uni Club is the subzero where you can celebrate Mi-Sa. I can recommend the Subzero on Wednesdays and Fridays if you like to party. There is something for all house and electro fans on Saturdays. Of course you can also visit the various bars and clubs in Colchester try it yourself. If you start your semester abroad for the Autumn Term, this also coincides with Freshers Week, which gives you the opportunity to do a lot and go out to get to know people quickly.
My semester abroad was the best study experience I’ve ever had. I met a lot of nice people and made new friends. The University of Essex has always tried to make you feel welcome, especially the Essex Abroad Office team, so I highly recommend Essex. To everyone who may not yet dare to take the step abroad, dare to do it! You will not regret it.