I studied at the University of Roehampton for a semester and I can say that the three months are among the best of my life. I loved how friendly and polite the professors and staff at the university are.
For the first four days, only all international students lived on campus. 150 young people from all over the world, but mainly from the USA and Norway, were spread across the four colleges on campus. It reminded a little of Hogwarts from “Harry Potter”, after all, every college was associated with an animal and it was a matter of collecting points for his team. I lived in what is probably the most central college, Digby Stuart College. Months before my stay abroad, the university offered me the opportunity to apply for a place in a dormitory. I was promised that every international student would be entitled to a place in one of the dormitories. The process was easy to carry out and ultimately successful. I ended up sharing a flat with eight other students, which was an experience I wouldn’t want to miss. After having had the opportunity to make many foreign friends at various karaoke parties or information events on the first few days, all Englishmen arrived at the university at the beginning of the next week. It was an incredibly beautiful and exciting experience to live with several hundred students in the immediate vicinity of the university.
I took a creative writing course and learned to write my own short story. In fact, it only took me two minutes to get from my dorm to the classroom. The professor was a young writer and made the three-hour seminar each week very funny and interesting. For my biology courses I had to make a few changes on site and wrote to the professors in charge directly. I received quick and very friendly responses and was accepted into the courses I wanted without any problems. As is the case at German universities, some lectures and seminars have of course inspired me more than others. However, I did not feel overwhelmed or under-challenged and received the necessary support and help from the professors and fellow students. Unfortunately, I have to wait four months for my final grade, as most papers in England are read externally for a second correction and this process takes a certain amount of time.
The celebration comes at the University of Roehampton in no way too short. I would say that the English generally capitalize on the word celebration. Every Wednesday there was the opportunity to go to a smaller discotheque in a neighboring town. In addition, a theme party was held every Friday on campus, in which the students always participate in large numbers and more or less creatively. I can only recommend keeping one or the other Friday free for this party and experiencing a real student party. Additional celebrations were often planned internally within the shared apartments, such as birthdays or Halloween. Sleep was too short for me in a few weeks, but it was just made up for during the day.
Central London can be reached within 20 minutes from the university. First you take a bus to the next tube station and from there a subway. However, the way to get there is explained at an information event right at the beginning and is also not very complicated. I fell irrevocably in love with London and see it as the most beautiful city that I have been able to get to know so far. The people are polite, the streets are clean, every corner exudes a new and different flair – the city is simply unbelievable and extremely interesting. My tip is to visit the parks, sights and markets during the day and to visit the various clubs, restaurants and pubs at night.
The university also offers a so-called “social program”. This program is designed for any international student who wants to see more of England than just its capital city. I am very happy to have bought this program because I spent many wonderful days with it with great friends. We spent a whole weekend in Wales, marveling at old castles and wonderful landscapes. I also had the opportunity to take great photos at the Stonehenge or to find out everything about the serial killer of the time on a nightly Jack-the-Ripper tour.
On the whole, I was excited about the semester at the University of Roehampton. Unfortunately, you have to save a considerable amount of money before going abroad, as life and transport in London are not that cheap, but the incredible experiences all make up for it. I can say that I was never bored for more than ten minutes during the 15 weeks. After all, you can either spend time with your roommates in the apartment, take a stroll in Richmond Park, which is just a few hundred meters away, use one of the countless sports activities at the university or simply drive to Central London and be amazed by what is happening there.