The planning of the semester abroad was very easy and uncomplicated thanks to the help of MicroEDU. You collect all the documents and send them to MicroEDU, then basically the actual application running and during the application process and later always be representative.
With regard to the language test, you can take a DAAD test, which is probably offered by all language centers at universities. This costs less and you don’t need great preparation.
Regarding the planning of living, it can be said that as a non-Erasmus-funded student it can be very uncomplicated if you accept the offer of the university: a guaranteed place in one of the dormitories. I applied for 2 houses (1st and 2nd priority) and in the end I got my first choice at Waverley House in the center of town. Some of my friends there have also lived in privately sought-after apartments and shared apartments, but there aren’t really any cheaper accommodations than the dormitory. The dormitories cost £ 99 and up a week. My room cost 128 pounds a week, which was about mid-range. The apartment wasn’t spectacular, but it wasn’t shabby either. In retrospect, I can say that the rooms actually roughly correspond to the photos and videos on the homepage. The location in the center is also absolutely ok. You just have to remember that you always have to walk up the dreaded mountain for about 15 minutes to get to the university and many popular pubs. But that’s good for my health, I didn’t let that put me off. If you live in the so-called Stokebishop, a bit outside of the city: As a resident of a dormitory you get a bus ticket for the student bus.
According to topschoolsintheusa, what you should also know is that in England the freshers mostly live in dormitories and move into private accommodation from the second year onwards. These young students sometimes overdo it at night and let their destructiveness run free, so that the elevator breaks down every now and then. My 3 freshers in the flat were incredibly open and friendly, We regularly ended evenings together in the kitchen and had a lot of fun. However, if you state in the text fields of your application that you would like to live in an international environment, you are more likely to get into a flat with international students like me. I have with an Australian woman, 2 English women and an English woman and a Japanese woman. In the meantime, another German lived with me and ended up being a Swede and an Italian. The cohesion with the flat very large, you do a lot with his roommates and go out together, for example.
The journey has shown itself to me as follows. I had the choice between a flight from the Cologne / Bonn / Düsseldorf region for around 150 € or a long-distance bus from Megabus or the DB with a stopover in London. The bus trip ended in Bristol relatively central in the city, which is why this option was quite advantageous, but the crucial point for me was that the trip can be had for under 40 €. However, you have to be able to drive the bus well, the fun takes about 13 hours net travel time. I was able to endure that quite well for me, especially overnight, thanks to the WiFi.
Living and studying in Bristol
I should start with the conclusion: It was absolutely worth it for me to tackle this adventure in a foreign city in a country with a foreign language that was almost foreign to me and I am very happy that I had the opportunity to spend a semester abroad!
After arriving, I had 2 days left to set up before the first day of Week Zero / Start Week. If you move into a dormitory, a little tip from me: don’t necessarily order the “bedding pack” from Unite Students (the organization that runs the dormitories). In retrospect, I found out that you can buy the same parts yourself at the “Wilko” (shop where you can get everything to do with the bedroom, kitchen, etc. ) for significantly less money.
When the university started with Week Zero, we were guided very well by the international office through the first few days and learned everything you should know about choosing a course, basically about the customs at English universities, the grading system and also about life in Bristol. You come into direct contact with other international students and you can strengthen your first contacts in pubs and clubs in the evenings.
The course selection is also very simple and you do not expect adventurous surprises. In the first 2 weeks you can choose from too high a number of courses at the beginning (it is better to choose more than you want so that you can react better to deletions or overcrowding. Also important for the previous exam at the German university, whether you the courses) can easily make changes and I had a personal interview with the School of Economics, Finance and Management (efm for short) in which I discussed with the person responsible from the Undergraduate Office which courses would work for me.
In general, you should stick to the workload of around 60 English credits per semester. In retrospect, I did not find the courses too difficult for a non-native speaker (I had only chosen courses from the second year, however, because courses from the third year are supposed to be more difficult because they are very important for the English students). In many subjects, as an exchange student, you also have the option of submitting an essay instead of the exam, which is usually around 3000 words. This was left to me at least after consultation with the professor (at efm). However, I decided to take final exams because my experience with lengthy scientific work is limited. In the end, it was the right choice for me.
What I found striking about the university was that there was a clear focus on essays and, above all, on reading some recommended books. Sometimes you get very extensive “reading lists” from which you can choose a few works in order to expand the lectures, which for me only made up about 9 times 45 minutes per week.
Basically, you can live very well as a student in Bristol. Shops are open for 7 days, there are inordinate numbers of pubs and some clubs.
Before moving to England, you should be aware that the supermarkets are quite a bit more expensive compared to German ones. I would like to forego specific figures because it is difficult for me to compare my expenses with others. A pint (568 ml) of beer or cider costs between £ 2. 50 and £ 4. 50 in most bars. Half a kilo of pasta in about 60 p.
To be sports facilities to hold that the University offers a lot, here on you will be well informed in the first week and you have all the possibilities to practice his sport. I personally played in the university’s internal soccer league for the Erasmus team. Contact can be made via ESN. This league is sponsored by the university by not holding lectures or tutorials on Wednesday afternoons.
I particularly recommend visiting the Bristol International Students Center (BISC for short). This is close to the university and offers, for example, many great excursions every Wednesday from 12-2 all-you-can-eat soups and on Fridays something cooked for 2. 80 pounds. The people who work there are volunteers who serve you in a really amiable and chivalrous manner and do everything to make you feel good. The best thing about the BISC is that you meet students from all over the world very regularly and make a lot of friends.
On the subject of food, it can also be said that there is no classic cafeteria. Unless you’re staying in a boarded dormitory, you’ll either have to cook for yourself or eat out for at least £ 3, more likely £ 5. The food is actually much better than you might know from stories.
Those were my experiences with the semester abroad. I very much hope that you will decide to have this experience too. I have an unreserved recommendation. If in the end it might not be Bristol where you are going, definitely go abroad for a semester.
I got to know many, many very nice, open-minded and interesting people from all disciplines and I don’t want to miss the past 4 months.