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In English, please!


Veröffentlicht am 17.09.2012

In English… what? Surely you are wondering about reading an English text on a german website!? Well, that is the aim of my topic, because I am writing about my semester abroad in Cambridge, England.

Typical British and much more
Pubs, Fish & Chips, English Tea and, of course, the Queen – those are mostly the first attributes coming to people’s minds when they are thinking of England. Indeed, you will find everything of it on the British Isles, but there is much more to explore.

For some years it was my dream to live in a foreign country for a time, with another culture, language and different people. Of course, Great Britain is not New Zealand or Brasilia, but for me good old England represented a similar great adventure. Even in school I was very interested in the language and the country itself. As I started my studies in “media and communication management”, specialised in digital media, my aim was soon to absolve one part of it abroad. The Baden-Wuerttemberg Cooperative State University in Ravensburg offers a variety of opportunities for exchange semesters in the whole world. Anyway, Cambridge was my first choice. I have to admit that also the good reputation of Cambridge itself and its elite university influenced my decision, even though I studied at the “normal” Anglia Ruskin University. But hey, I can say: “I studied in Cambridge!”

Well, first of all I have to say: Believe it or not, we had great weather in Cambridge. I know, that sounds strange, especially considering that I lived there in autumn and winter. Cambridge is supposed to be the town with the lowest precipitation in England. And that is absolutely true. My umbrella was in use for only three times in four months! I will never forget the 1st October when we were laying in one of the great parks at 27 degrees... amazing! The winter was no winter at all. I could ride my bicycle until my last day in Cambridge. It was almost Christmas and we had no frost or snow. Whereas the winter in Germany 2011 was very mild, too.

If you ever want to see a typical British town, Cambridge is totally the right place. From the first moment I was impressed of the beautiful little British houses, the idyllic countryside and the way of life in England. I lifed in such a comfortable house, too. The English people are so friendly and helpful. Can you imagine to be called “honey” or "sweetie” by cashiers in the supermarket or unknown people in town? Well, that is the order of the day! I got used to this very quickly and really liked the people's kindness.

Studies at the Anglia Ruskin University
Studying in Cambridge is comparable to the normal university life in Germany, but the tuition fees are much more expensive. Luckily I attended the Anglia Ruskin University in 2011, while one semester for EU-students costed about 1.600 £ and this were even the reduced fees. Since 2012 English universities charge up to 9.000 £ per year. In my eyes the quality of the studys is good but not legitimating such high tuition fees.
The communication with fellow students or professors was no problem at all. After some days you felt like a typical English student. We had only eight hours lectures and seminars per week – in comparison to the regular fulltime weeks at my German university: This is nothing!

Of course, you had to do a lot of work at home, but it was a real luxury to sleep long within the week and to organize your workload for yourself.
There were a loads of international students at the Anglia Ruskin University, especially a majority of Germans. Other students came from Skandinavia, France or Spain. We found some Skandinavian friends, that why we were forced to speak English all the time.

London Calling
Living in Cambridge means living in the ideal town in order to explore Great Britain. Travelling to the south, you are in London in less than two hours. In comparision: You will need the same time to see the coast and the sea in the east. Oxford and Birmingham in the west, Scotland and Ireland nearby – best conditions for various trips throughout the United Kingdom. We were almost everywhere!

Of course, especially London impressed me. Such a huge, exciting and multicultural city I have never seen before! The famous sights and historical places, pubs, clubs and concerts as well as culture en masse forces you to visit London at least a week.
My personal London highlight was defenitely the “Winter Wonderland” in Hyde Park. Inspired by the German Christmas Market, a huge area full of German Bratwurst, Mulled Wine and sweets made you feel like home. In the middle of the park there was a romantic lighted ice-rink, where an acoustic band played music while you were ice skating. I will never forget this arrangement.

Party hard
The British folks are crazy party people, and I mean: Really crazy… They drink a lot and party hard. Girls wear their shortest skirts, thightest tops and a dramatic make up, combinded with at least 15 cm High Heels for the perfect party-style – regardless if it suits them or not. The music in the clubs is the same disco stuff we have in Germany, except of some alternative venues. The nightlife is exciting and excessive, you can have the fun of your live! And if you do not like to party in clubs, you can go to a number of great concerts in Cambridge or, of course, London. Our most loved pub in Cambridge was the “Baron of the Beef”, a typical britisch, cosy pub.

I will never forget the time in Cambridge and the people I met there. You are thinking about moving to Great Britain? The only advice I can give you is: Just do it! You will not regret it. I defenitely can recommend England as a place to life. I like that country so much, that I even can imagine to live there for a longer time in the future.