England: Hannah Sun

Photo of Hannah Sun
Hannah (left) on a trip to Cheddar Gorge with friends.

Program: University of Bristol Exchange, Spring Semester

Hannah’s Majors: Statistics & Computer Science

Academic Life: The teaching style was very different at the University of Bristol. First of all, spring semester, which is called teaching block two, has only 10 teaching weeks. Because of this, the teaching hours are generally less than the teaching hours offered at UW-Madison. Most classes don’t require attendance and homework; however, Bristol students are expected to study more independently. Most of a student’s grade comes from one or two exams or papers.

Housing: I lived with my landlords, two professors at the University of Bristol who rented out two of their rooms. It was great because I got to live with a local family, and form a relationship with them. This helped me understand British values and ways of living better. In addition, the other room was rented out to a student from the Czech Republic, so I got to know her and learn more about Czech culture.

Challenges: The University of Bristol doesn’t offer as many resources as UW-Madison does. They have a small career office that serves everyone in the school, the libraries are smaller, class registration is more challenging, and the university’s website is organized differently. These differences made me miss UW- Madison at first, until I adjusted.

Benefits of Study Abroad: I became friends easily with many other people from different places, and we gradually built a strong bond between us through traveling, trying interesting ethnic food, sharing cultural experiences, and of course, school. I am very glad that I got the chance to study abroad and to have gained an amazing study abroad family.

“This semester not only allowed me to explore cultures in the UK, but also gave me a glance at cultures from around the world.”