Alumni Spotlight: Amanda Metell


Why did you choose this program?

Wroxton College isn't just a location to study abroad at; it is an experience. Many study abroad programs supply the school, housing, and possibly food for your stay. However, Wroxton fills your entire time studying abroad with day trips, weekend trips, and experiences that you will never forget. There is not a moment of down time at Wroxton. You are constantly immersed in English and European culture. And who wouldn't want to live in a 12th century Jacobean house? Living at Wroxton is like tasting what royalty is like in England. The grounds and house offer such an idyllic setting for classes and leisure.

What did your program provider (or university) assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?

Fairleigh- Dickinson University provided nearly everything for my study abroad experience. Flights to and from England were covered. Transport to and from the airports to the college were covered. Weekend trips, day trips, books for classes, lodging, and food were all covered. I basically only had to get transportation to and from the Newark Airport in New Jersey. Apart from that, you are free to spend and go on your own trips as much as you like when you are at Wroxton. I participated in nearly all of the included day and weekend trips the college provided, and went on my own 12 day trip in the middle of the semester.

What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?

I say this all the time: no naps! You might be exhausted from travelling and classes. But if you don't absolutely need to catch up on sleep, go on that trip, go explore with your friends, go for that bike ride. You can nap when you are back home. But studying abroad is a short time. Don't waste it snoozing away! I wish I had taken less naps when I was studying abroad. Any time wasted when studying abroad cannot be recovered. And never in your life will you have the freedom to travel to another country for a few months and basically only have to pay tuition.

What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?

I was lucky the way my schedule worked out. I only had classes Tuesday-Thursday. Classes meet for 2-3 hours every week, with another hour every other week (tutorials). At Wroxton, you will take 5 classes, and the bulk of your grade will be the final exams. Fridays-Sundays the college organizes day trips around England as well as some weekend trips to Scotland and France. These are voluntary, and you can choose to travel on your own on the weekends. In the middle of the semester there is a 12 day break, where you can travel where you want. During the week when I wasn't in class I typically spent 3 hours per class per week preparing for tutorials/writing papers. At Wroxton, there is a lot of down time to explore the Abbey/grounds with friends.

Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?

My biggest fear going into studying abroad was making friends. I was going to a school where many people knew each other, and I would know no one. I am a shy person, however I thrive in a friend group. My fears were assuaged when one of my (now) best friends Kate came up to me at the Newark Airport and introduced herself to me as well as complimented my hair. Sometimes all it takes to make a new best friend it a sweet little compliment. We immediately became our "go-to's" at Wroxton and quickly expanded our group into six. I'm so thankful to have had Kate, Olivia, Kristina, Maria, and Chris at Wroxton. Sharing your study abroad experience with such a strong friend group makes it so much more fun. And even after studying abroad is over, you still have those friends for life.

What was the best advice you received before studying abroad that you took to heart?

"Experiences are way more valuable then items."

You remember experiences way more than that expensive souvenir you wanted. When I was abroad, I typically chose to spend my money on experiences, i.e. going places/doing excursions, verses buying material items. I'm not saying you shouldn't buy any mementos when you are abroad, but make sure you consciously saving some money to explore the place you are at. You can probably buy that mug, that flag, and that scarf in your home country. But you can't explore the Scottish highlands, climb to the top of the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, or go inside La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, in your home country.