The application went very smoothly and quickly. At this point, I would like to thank MicroEDU again – I felt very much in good hands there. The whole process was very unbureaucratic and questions (of which I didn’t have many because everything was explained very well from the start) were always answered quickly. My English LK grade was sufficient for me as proof of language proficiency, so I didn’t have to worry about any tests. As an EU citizen and non-Erasmus student for only one semester, the paperwork is very limited, so that I only had to bring the registration certificate and ID to register as a student in Bristol.
Since there were no problems with my choice of course, Rachel and David from the International Office had already registered me for my three desired courses when I arrived, so that I had nothing more to do in this regard during the orientation week. I still changed one course (because I was advised not to take three 3rd year courses, which in retrospect I think was a good decision), but that too was done with a visit to the office of the responsible department. Visit existingcountries.com to get information about 10 best medical schools in Europe.
Especially for courses with a heavy focus on literature for higher semesters, it is an advantage to find out about the reading lists of the courses for which you are already registered on Blackboard (comparable to the German Stud. IP and accessible via the MyBristol portal) as soon as possible (or write directly to the lecturer if necessary), as some courses require a lot of reading and preparation in the first session. I found that out relatively late and in the first week I had to order and read a novel and some secondary literature for my 3rd-Year English Literature course in a hurry, but everything worked out after all.
With only three courses, each with one seminar session per week, I was at the absolute lower limit of the contact hours even for English standards, but was still always busy, because especially in the higher semesters you have to do a lot of work on your own. By far the most labor-intensive, but also the most interesting, was my “Contemporary Literature and Science” course, for which I read and prepare a novel or a drama as well as a selection of scientific texts and essays every week, run a blog accompanying the course and provide two essays Had to submit 2000 and 3000 words. Due to the lower number of participants (between 11 and 20), the seminars are more intensive than at home, but I had the feeling to be able to transfer knowledge and methods from my previous studies quite well, since ultimately nothing fundamentally different was required. If you have any questions or problems, you can always contact the lecturers, all of whom I have found to be very committed, helpful and well prepared.
With my first wish for Goldney Hall, I had caught one of Bristol’s most popular student residences – Goldney House, the orangery and the gardens are almost too beautiful to be true. There are, among other things, some common rooms for the students (completely in the manor house style with antique furniture and wall paneling), a small library, a music room and its own bar (with very reasonable prices for Bristol standards), where parties regularly, Film and music evenings etc. take place. The tennis and squash courts at the neighboring Clifton Hill House can also be used. The apartment blocks are comparatively more functional, but you have everything you need there too.
Goldney is not only beautiful and well located (depending on the pace it was 15-20 minutes from door to door to my seminar rooms on Woodland Road), but is also considered a godsend when it comes to community life. All of the staff are incredibly nice and caring, and my first few days in particular were almost seamlessly scheduled with welcome events and get-to-know activities. Bristol’s major shopping mile (Broadmead and Cabot Circus) is just under half an hour’s walk away, but the Students’ Union building and the famous Suspension Bridge are in the immediate vicinity. The district of Clifton is one of the most beautiful corners of Bristol and offers enough pubs, restaurants and all the necessary shopping facilities for everyday needs.
I lived in a (apart from myself) fully English 8-person flat share and would recommend that to everyone. My roommates were super fun and open and welcomed me so well that I felt at home there in no time and already miss them a lot. Of course I pestered everyone with questions and in return my roommates kept coming in with things that I absolutely had to get to know, so that I have learned something more every day. From highlights like our traditional English Christmas dinner to little things like the bake-off TV evenings or even my first “Terry’s Chocolate Orange”, which my roommate brought me one day, I got to know a lot of great new things and a lot of them will determine import into my German flat share.
The fact that the Freshers in particular are extremely partying is a rumor that I can confirm, but here, too, the motto is: “Everything can, nothing has to”. Everyone who comes along will be happy, but the quieter half of my flat share was never left out. You could retreat to work at any time, but you could always find someone in the kitchen if you were looking for company. In general, we did a lot together such as cooking, partying or going to the pub, movie and game evenings or small trips. Compared to Germany, I had the feeling that making contacts in England takes place more in the dormitory than in the seminars at the university, but this can also be due to the fact that Goldney is considered very social and the division into apartment blocks makes it easy, sometimes to look over or under in the flat share.
Bristol itself offers a lot of sights such as the Suspension Bridge, the cathedral, the harbor, the zoo or the aquarium, but also in the immediate vicinity, for example, Ashton Court Estate with the associated deer parks (my favorite for jogging) or Blaise Castle are worthwhile destinations. There is also a wide selection of cozy pubs, restaurants and clubs for all tastes. Although Bristol is a big city, everything is within walking distance once you get used to the hilly terrain.
Of course, I also really enjoyed getting to know other international students – during the orientation sessions at Freshers Week, but above all through the Bristol International Student Center (BISC). The staff are the warmest people you can imagine, and the afternoon teas or lunches are a great way to get to know other internationals and make friends. In addition, BISC offers a whole range of excursions and events every semester, which are always very popular, inexpensive and well organized.
You can also make great contacts through the various societies at the University of Bristol. From every conceivable sport to culturally or culinary-oriented groups to the most exotic areas of interest, there is really a society for everything. In addition, the Students’ Union organizes a diverse sports program and some of the individual dormitories also offer free activities: In Goldney, for example, I regularly went to yoga in the orangery.
One of my nicest experiences is of course the trips across Great Britain, so that I have left almost every place with the firm intention of coming back as soon as possible. At every corner you have the feeling of stumbling over a piece of history. During my semester I went to Bath, Stonehenge, Cardiff and South Wales, to the Harry Potter Film Studios, to Cambridge, to the coast towards Clevedon, to Cheltenham, Gloucester and finally up to Scotland, where we said goodbye Have seen Edinburgh and Loch Ness.
DOs & DON’Ts
- Dust off freebies at the Freshers’ Fair
- Take a traditional cream tea
- Check out Thekla (a club that’s a boat)
- Take part in the “Guided Walk: Bristol’s History” organized by the BISC through the old town
- Ask about student discounts: With the U-Card there is a discount of at least 10 percent in all kinds of shops, online shops, restaurants, bars and bus companies.
- Trust the weather forecast. An umbrella is always a good idea.
- Mispronounce “scones” (everyone agreed that it rhymes with “tons” but not with “bones”)
- Wait until the traffic light turns green;-)
Financially, the whole thing is unfortunately no small matter. Bristol isn’t quite London just yet, but it is definitely at the higher end of the UK price spectrum. I paid around € 9500 for the tuition fees and my accommodation alone, so if you want to travel a bit, you can be financially prepared for something. If you tackle the whole thing creatively and accept a bit of paperwork, a lot can be covered with grants and funding, as these can usually be combined well. Despite the costs, the stay was absolutely worth it. It is unbelievable how many beautiful and exciting experiences, memories and friendships you can gain in so few months if I had the choice, I would leave immediately.