In 2012 I was in Essex for a Spring and Summer Term and from the beginning of the report I can say that it was really great.
MicroEDU was a huge help and always answered all questions immediately and, if necessary, contacted the University of Essex. There was also a lot of information on the Essex homepage. We (all MicroEDU participants) were able to clarify the last questions on Facebook in a separate group. As long as you meet all the criteria, nothing stands in the way of acceptance.
Since we started in the middle of the academic year, there was no personal reception for us. On the day of arrival, you simply picked up the key in the relevant office and then set yourself up once. Since the rooms are allocated in advance, it doesn’t matter when you arrive. By the way, if you don’t want to carry that much, just send a package via GLS (moving box costs € 25). It only took two days and I had everything there when I arrived. The best solution is to fly to Stansted, because from there the buses go directly to Colchester or to the university. Since I landed in Luton, I took the train via London. The following day the program started with guided tours, course selection, etc. Everyone was very nice and helpful. Professors from each subject area were then on site and then once again supported each student in choosing a course. A change of course was possible without any problems. It was nice that you already knew some of them through MicroEDU, but the fact that all the international students had some introductory days together made it easy to meet new people from all over the world. On Saturday we took a trip to Cambridge from the university. That was a nice idea. On Saturday we took a trip to Cambridge from the university. That was a nice idea. On Saturday we took a trip to Cambridge from the university. That was a nice idea.
I lived in the South Courts with five other international students. Our house was quite new and really nice. Each room had its own bathroom and we then shared a kitchen, which was mostly clean. If you don’t see it all that closely, you can rent a room in the towers (3 toilets, 2 showers and a kitchen for 14 people). But there is always something going on and sleeping without earplugs is usually impossible. The quays are nice, but they are quite far away (15 minutes on foot) so that you can just go to campus in the evening. But if you live there, you can take the shuttle back home from the university and if you want you can also take the public bus. Then an annual pass might be worthwhile. But if you only go to Colchester every now and then, then probably not.
If you just need something or don’t want to go to Tesco, you can also shop on campus. The small supermarket has a very good selection, even if some things are often sold out. However, once a week there is a fruit and vegetable stand on campus. If you don’t really want to cook, you can simply go to a restaurant / pub on campus. There is an Italian, an Asian, a burger shop, one with pub food and a couple of small snack shops. There is also another bar and two cafes. The club on campus offers another alternative for a meeting. There is something going on here every day except Sunday. So the campus is really like a small town. Even a post office, a few banks, two laundromats, a copy shop, a bookstore, a theater and a gym were on site. Who would, can become a member there and / or join a club. All kinds of sports are offered.
According to anycountyprivateschools.com, Colchester is very pretty in the summer. The city already offers opportunities for shopping and dining. There is also the castle, a really great zoo, a go-kart track, a scooter world, a swimming pool, a cinema, a bowling world, etc. So it doesn’t really get boring, but a lot is not close to the campus and is therefore a bit difficult with to reach by bus. Colchester itself is easy to get to and the buses run well until midnight. If you want to leave later, you can also take a taxi.
We were all only allowed to take three to four courses (depending on the credit points). Each course then had a lecture consisting of two hours or a lecture and a class (teaching in small groups) of one hour each. In the courses for master’s students, the courses themselves have always been very small. That’s really great. I had courses in business administration and sometimes lectures with 50-200 students, but the additional lessons in small groups (class) made it ok. In one subject I had to write two essays, but no exam, and in the other one an essay and an exam each. The essays were between 2000 and 3000 words long and had to be submitted in the spring term or at the beginning of the summer term. The exam phase was between mid-May and early June. Those who had finished all the essays and exams could fly home. That would have been information that would have been very important for some in advance (possibly internship or job). But I stayed and traveled with friends and of course I didn’t want to miss the Summer Ball. We also traveled between the terms, because we had days off from the end of March to the end of April (four weeks) (very few students, but mostly no foreign students, had to write exams even then).
The lectures will then be discontinued for the summer term. Usually each module has a lecture with tips for the exams, but otherwise you have enough time to learn. In summer it’s great that you can study outside by the lake, because the library is often a bit louder than you think. Since the standard is not quite as high as in Germany, a good grade is easy to achieve. Only the essay phase was a bit stressful.
If you want, you can also take courses on writing, pronunciation, grammar, etc.
A railcard is great for this. It’s only £ 28 for students, you save 1/3, and it’s available on campus. Alternatively, you can also rent a car and I would recommend that, because there is not only London to discover.:) Here it makes sense to be over 25, because then the price is halved.
Anyone who would like to show their friends about university life in England can do that easily. You can borrow a mattress and bedding from the university for just five pounds. That’s great, of course, and I’ve used it a number of times.
In summary, it was a great time and I can recommend it to everyone.