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USAC - Study Abroad at University of Brighton in England
Interview with Amanda Cramer, USAC alum in Brighton
GO: Why did you decide to study abroad with USAC at the University of Brighton?
Amanda: I first decided that I wanted to study abroad in England. The International Programs office at my home school, University of Cincinnati, gave me the giant book of USAC programs. I spent a lot of time waffling between the London program and the program in Brighton. In the end, I decided that I wanted to study in a location that I didn't know a lot about. Brighton really is the best of both worlds. It's on the coast, with its beautiful beaches and pier, and it's still close to London for weekend trips. But the true tipping point were the field trips offered by USAC. We were able to go to Paris, Versailles, Bath, and Stonehenge, amongst others, all through USAC. In the end, I wanted something unique and USAC had a great program in Brighton.
GO: What made your study abroad experience unique and special?
Amanda: So many things made this experience unique and special. The one that immediately comes to mind is that we were there for the royal wedding! A fellow USACer and I went to London for the day to be part of the excitement and madness. I was so excited to be there for that, even though we weren't able to see a whole lot. That was one of the first moments when I really felt like I was part of the culture and it was wonderful. I feel like Brighton by itself is so unique, that it would be hard to go there and not have a special experience. The flats we lived in overlooked rolling hills where sheep roamed. There were a lot of days that were average and maybe even boring, but there were so many nights that just felt magical. I'm sure everyone might say this about their study abroad experience, but I really grew to love all the other American students I was with. I never felt like I was alone. There was always someone who was willing to go to the grocery store with you, which became a pretty huge part of our lives and one of my favorite memories.
GO: How has this experience impacted your future?
Amanda: Personally, when I first got home, I realized that the world doesn't have to feel so big and unattainable. I really felt like a global citizen and that hasn't really worn off, almost a year later. I feel like this experience will make it easier to travel in the future. I'm not afraid of getting lost or confused, because I've already done it! Studying abroad is addictive and I really hope to either go to grad school or work in England in the future. I am definitely feeling homesick for Brighton and I think it would be impossible to not go back.
USAC is a non-profit organization made up of 33 U.S. member universities that has provided quality and affordable study abroad programs for almost 30 years. USAC currently offers programs in 24 countries at 39 program sites and provides a broad spectrum of assistance with housing, visa assistance, academics, field trips, internships, field study courses and more from the point you apply, your arrival and stay, to your transcript and re-entry.