An Undergraduate Degree Abroad


Forget a semester abroad—our newest study abroad blogger, Susan, is doing her entire degree overseas.

It seems like I’ve been waiting for this moment ever since I initially submitted my application nearly exactly a year ago. In a few days, I will be heading to England, soon to be my home for the next four years.

Four years? Yes, you read that correctly!

I am 18-years-old and like most 18-year-olds, I am starting my post-secondary studies this autumn. However, unlike most 18-year-olds, I will be doing all four years of my undergraduate studies abroad—at the University of Cambridge in England, to be exact. I will be studying Modern and Medieval Languages (really just a fancy degree name for foreign languages), specializing in French and German.

Why did I decide to study abroad?

While it does seem clichéd, it is true—studying abroad is something I’ve always wanted to do. I’ve enjoyed experiencing new places—whether it was just a different part of Canada, or a different continent altogether. I was quite determined to do an exchange during high school, but unfortunately, it was impossible to arrange at my high school. So, I decided to make up for it in university. However, a trip to Switzerland when I was 16 (my first visit to Europe, and my first solo travel experience) meant that I had caught the travel bug. I realized that a semester, even a year abroad during university wouldn’t be enough; I wanted to do my entire degree abroad.  

Why England?

After I decided I wanted to do my undergraduate degree abroad, I immediately looked towards European universities because not only was I in love with the Old Continent, I wanted something not too different from a North American university. However, I quickly ruled out the majority of universities on the European continent simply because I don’t speak German or Spanish or Danish or anything other than English fluently!

In England, I would be able to immerse myself in a new cultural environment while still being able to understand what my professors are lecturing about, for example. When choosing universities, I specifically fell in love with Cambridge—its education system is so unique and full of old English traditions, exactly what I wanted and more.

There is just under a week until D-Day (my departure day!) and I’ve already purchased my plane tickets as well as applied for and received my UK Student Visa—the latter of which involved a very long, harrowing and stressful process (hence, apply as early as possible!) What I haven’t started yet, is packing, and even so, I’m already starting to worry: How am I supposed to fit a year’s worth of stuff into one checked baggage and one carry-on?! Thankfully, I have the entire weekend to figure that out!

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Published in Study Abroad Blogs
Susan Chan

Susan Chan is doing what many recent high school graduates do—pursuing post-secondary education. However, in doing so, she moved “across the pond” from Canada to England. She hopes to satisfy her self-proclaimed “infinite wanderlust” as she does her undergraduate studies at the University of Cambridge.


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