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Caitlin AdamsCaitlin Adams
International Business: spent a year abroad in Plymouth, UK

I first left the country when I was six months old and I’m convinced that I have loved traveling ever since my first adventure abroad. When I came to college, I came with studying abroad in mind and ended up going for my entire sophomore year.

Plymouth
Plymouth is one of the larger cities in Southwest England. It’s right on the coast and provides beautiful views from any vantage point. It also has a connection with the U.S. as the Mayflower actually sailed from Plymouth. Due to this history, Plymouth puts on a Thanksgiving parade every year at the harbor, otherwise known as the Barbican. Plymouth is about a four hour bus ride from London and is about two hours from the largest city in the Southwest, Bristol.

The University
The University of Plymouth is comprised of two campuses. The main campus is in Plymouth city center and the other is in Exeter, a city about an hour to the North. The Exeter campus focuses on the arts while the Plymouth campus covers everything else. Each class takes place once or twice a week lasting usually one hour. I was expected to do a lot of independent study rather than completing regular assignments as we do here at UNCG. I really enjoyed experiencing another learning style while taking classes that counted toward my major.

Accommodation
I lived in a university dorm, but the experience was very different from the one at the dorms at UNCG. I had my own room and bathroom and the dorm was set up suite-style. Six of us shared a kitchen and dining area and had a balcony that overlooked the city.

Travel
As I mentioned before, I love traveling. There was no way I was going to go to Europe without taking advantage of the close proximity of so many new places. While I was in Plymouth for the year I had the opportunity to go to Spain, Germany, Ireland, France, Egypt, and Greece not including the traveling I did within England itself. Because everything is so close together, traveling is easier and more affordable than I could have imagined. There are many budget options including different airlines as well as the buses or trains and hostels instead of hotels. If you are looking for something a little more upscale or planning to stay somewhere for a longer period of time, all-inclusive holidays are also a good deal.

Advice

  • English people are very nice, but shy. Don’t be afraid to talk to your classmates and break that barrier.
  • Plymouth’s international program is a great way to meet other international students like you. Look out for events going on throughout the year, including excursions to Stonehenge.
  • Explore the city. Plymouth has a lot to offer that isn’t always advertised. The more you get to know the city and surrounding areas, the more Plymouth will stay with you for the rest of your life.
  • Enjoy the experience! Studying abroad is a once in a lifetime chance. Spend it how you will and have a great time!
 

Page updated: 06-May-2010

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