Bryan School Study Abroad Program

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Ashley BonoAshley Bono
Business Administration, studied abroad at Strathclyde University in Glasgow, Scotland

As an underclassman I already knew that I wanted to study abroad. After living in the international dorm (Philip-Hawkins) on UNCG’s campus, I decided that I wanted to go to Scotland to study abroad. I wanted to go to an English-speaking country in Europe, where I could travel and visit my twin sister, Dillan Bono, who was studying in Germany for a year. After meeting with the IPC and the Bryan School’s study abroad advisor, I decided that I would apply for study abroad at Strathclyde University in Glasgow, Scotland.

Strathclyde University
Strathclyde University is located in the center of Glasgow. Glasgow is a very metropolitan, active and student-friendly city. People walk up and down Glasgow’s streets all day and all night. Everyone there was very friendly. If I was ever lost, all I needed to do was turn to the person next to me and ask where to go - and they would tell me how to get there and ask about my life in America. Everyone I met (whether in a restaurant, library, store or theatre) would hear my accent and ask me all about the United States.

The semester before I went to Scotland, Strathclyde University sent me a packet of information about the student housing available, so I filled out a housing application before I left. I chose Birkbeck Court and I am so glad that I did. I shared a flat with five other girls. The flats had six bedrooms, one bathroom (which was surprisingly manageable with six girls) and a common room and kitchen. There is no cafeteria at Strathclyde, so I had to learn how to shop and cook for myself. It was challenging, but I am glad that I learned to master that skill.

The classes were larger than at UNCG (some had over 100 students). The lectures ran about the same amount of time as those at UNCG (50 min to 75 min). Attendance at the lectures was not required, but it was certainly helpful and recommended for students who are not used to independent studying. Students are also required to sign up for tutorials (smaller group discussions with the professor) that are conducted every other week. Attendance at the tutorials was mandatory. The classes were interesting and challenging. Much less busy work was assigned. The classes tended to focus on self-instruction, meaning that students were expected to keep up with the material themselves. Grades in each class were typically based on an essay and/or exam at the end of the semester. Both were not difficult as long as the students budget their time wisely (I started all my papers and exam revision at least three weeks in advance, doing about 2-3 hours of review each day).

I was able to visit my sister in Mannheim, Germany, on several occasions, and we were able to travel all around Germany and France. I also traveled to England and visited London, Manchester, and Liverpool (as I am a BIG Beatles fan!).  I made friends with my flat mates, one of whom was Irish. She invited me to spend a week with her at the end of the semester, since air travel is so inexpensive, I was able to book a flight to Ireland very inexpensively and see a whole new country. At the end of the semester, I toured Italy with my family (going to Rome, Florence, and Venice). I also traveled all around Scotland, including Scotland’s capital, Edinburgh, and Stirling (made famous by William Wallace). I also traveled into the highlands and to the beaches of Scotland. It seemed everywhere I turned in Scotland was a place more beautiful than the next!

Program Impact
Study abroad has impacted my life in so many different ways and I am confident that studying abroad was the best decision I have ever made. I loved every second of my experience and I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. I miss Glasgow as if it were an actual person, my friend. I made lasting friendships and strengthened existing relationships, as well as created a stronger relationship with myself. I would advise everyone to study abroad!

Advice for Future Students

  • Be reassured that there will always be someone to help you and that you are well taken care of!
  • Be outgoing and flexible. Don’t be afraid to talk to others, they will be excited to have you in their country and will want to know everything you want to tell them.
  • Research the country you are visiting, so you will have a good idea of what to expect when you get there. Also, be willing to learn once you get there.
  • HAVE FUN!!!!!!

Page updated: 17-Feb-2009

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