University of East Anglia

University of East Anglia


The University of East Anglia is a UK Top 15 University, and a World Top 200 Higher Education Institute. Based on a beautiful campus in the historic city of Norwich, we pride ourselves on the excellent academic, social and cultural facilities we offer. Our campus is a friendly environment with a real sense of community, where students from many different cultures and backgrounds live and study.


University of East Anglia
Norwich Research Park
United Kingdom



I would like to share my own experience and I hope it'll help.
At a time, I was desperate for the outside world like foreign countries. However, during a long period, I was not brave enough to take the first step, and certainly, out of fear, scared of my broken English and other unknowns. Nevertheless, the first time I saw the University of East Anglia (UEA) International Summer School Program, I knew it was time to apply what I was looking forward to reality.
My nerves had been stretched tightly since I was picked up at Heathrow airport. On the bus back to school, I would like to say hello to students nearby, but out of the deep-rooted introverted ethos of Chinese, I gave up. In the welcome brunch, by playing Bingo, I dared to pluck up courage to talk to those were strangers to me at that instant but later who became my most precious friends.
From then on, every time there were activities, I would try to hold back the willing which persuaded me to flock together with the other Chinese mates, as the reason I came abroad was to step out of the comfort zone. My friends probably had perceived my inquietude, for when I was with them they always engaged me naturally or half unconsciously. What impressed me most was an unnoticeable detail, the day we had dinner at Norwich, everyone at the table talked, when it was my turn, the exact time I tried to say something, the rest of the people would lean a little bit forward, just this simple subconscious gesture, making me feel fully respected and deeply moved, since then, I knew I was going to love this group.
After a few days’ endeavor, I could join the others with good grace. One night, after we held a party in the kitchen, I was about to leave, Peggy shouted at me, “You’re Chinese, you’re supposed to be shy!” I really couldn’t stop laughing that time. I admitted that I was very bad at being the stereotypical east Asian. On weekends, we went on a journey to Oxford, we made plans, booked tickets, and arranged accommodations all together. The cooperation made us closer, and we felt a close connection with each other. We did meet some difficulties and challenges, but I wasn’t afraid of them any longer. Right then, I realized the true meaning of youth, it’s not a time of life, but a state of mind, a mind of embracing challenges and unknowns.
I’m so grateful to UEA, my beloved friends as well as Roanne, Claire and Rachel, the staff who firmly supported us. There might be possibility that some of us won't see each other anymore, this period may also be drowned out in the trivial life, but every time when it rushes upon my mind, it would give me power and warmth. Looking at the outside world more often, not only could increase our knowledge, but what’s more important is that those once unknown, and once felt unattainable things have been intimately contacted with us, from then on they’ll be treated with ordinary mentality, aweing but no longer afraid.
If you are considering of applying, don't hesitate, you'll never regert a single bit of it :)

How can this program be improved?
One month is too short to enjoy, I'd really like to stay longer~
Yes, I recommend this program
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It's hard to find the words to describe this amazing experience. During the application, I got every help, no matter what my problem was, the answer arrived in days.
When I arrived they come for us at the airport. The campus is beautiful, hares everywhere (literally EVERYWHERE around the campus and they are cute :D) The dorms are very close. Everyone has their own room, bed, table, shower, bathroom. On the campus, you can find small shops, 2-floor bookstore, café etc.
The lessons were useful in my studies, and we could use the library. I had the chance to ask real experts on different topics and teachers helped at UEA to find my graduation thesis.
The community was incredible I could make new friends and after half a year we are still in contact.
It was the best summer of my life thanks to this programme. Wonderful experience, helpful coordinators and staff, memorable trips, and a huge help in my future studies. I recommend it to everyone!

How can this program be improved?
It's perfect :D. If there was any problem I can't remember because it was solved so fast. Maybe the only problem, that it was only one month!
Yes, I recommend this program
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I called Norwich and UEA my home for one semester and, after almost one year, I must say that it definitely deserved that designation. After all, you want to feel comfortable and welcomed in a foreign city that you'll be staying in for quite a while. UEA made this really easy for me as a visiting (Erasmus) student, as they offered their amazing Homestay scheme which provided me with the opportunity to live with a local family. This helped me experience British culture to the fullest and I also had a local by my side who was more than happy to answer all of my questions, so the accommodation part gets a big plus from me.
Norwich itself made a lasting impression on me and I'd consider my activities there to be one of my most worthwhile adventures. It's a beautiful city with amazing architecture, a welcoming and friendly community and a vibrant social life. I personally don't go out a lot, but that turned out to be a bit different in Norwich as I really enjoyed the social aspect there, primarily because there were so many societies and social events at UEA, so make sure to check out all the societies as there should be something that suits your interests! I joined the Video Game Society and I met someone I'm still in touch with.
As someone who comes from a student-centred learning environment where the focus lies on problem-based learning in small groups (Maastricht University, Netherlands), the learning style at UEA was more of a new island to explore. I really liked this, as it gave me a lot of room to reflect upon my own progress. Now, looking back to my semester at UEA, I must say that the teaching system did not negatively affect my academic development in any way. Quite the contrary: it helped me grow as a student, as I had to adjust myself to a new environment. The teaching primarily consisted of lectures and seminars, and I liked all of them as the professors were interactive and engaging whilst also presenting the knowledge in a comprehensible manner. As for the assessment part, I had to write three reviews/essays during the Autumn semester, which proved to be one of my personal highlights, as I could write about topics that I really enjoy.
One thing that is also worth mentioning is the amazing support system at UEA. I can't even describe how amazing and helpful my academic advisor was; hats off!
My conclusion is that my time at UEA was definitely worth it. I initially came to Norwich with some degree of uncertainty, as I didn't know what to expect (considering that UEA became a partner of my home university that year). However, that was the whole point for me...I wanted to explore something new, and it turned out to be amazing.

Yes, I recommend this program
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First of all if you’re female, black, asian, LGBTQ+, or any combination of all of those things- save your sanity and avoid this school. Racism, sexual assault/harassent, and some homophobia are all too common here. Only in my year(2017-2018) did the school finally create a “never ok” campaign to combat sexual assault and harassment, but the campaign fails to cover racism and homophobia(even though it is supposed to cover general harassment). When it comes to even reporting sexual assault, know that it is hard. There are no instructions on who to talk to or where to go when it happens. Security on campus are pretty hard to talk to considering they can barely make eye contact with you?

Mental healthcare on campus is also a bust. It takes about a month to get an appointment with a counselor(if you even come to try and get help, your mental health is already in a serious position and to wait another month?). Living in the Ziggarauts amongst younger students I have seen some sad/ disturbing stuff. I do worry for students here because there is little to no support for them mentally or academically.

Now to academics, if you are in sciences- just run away. You dont get any of your grades until a month after you turn in assignments and there are no extra credit/make up assignments for if you did worse than expected-so you’re screwed( same logic applies to exams I took in may and still dont have my grades- its JULY). There are no tutors or academic support for sciences here and most advisors are pretty unhelpful/do the bare minimum to help you. Unfortunately, most science students here act like we’re all competing for a single degree so they wont work/study with you. Aside from that hot mess of a lab, I did meet a few kind and friendly lab professors and associates who actually answered my questions, were helpful, and very supportive when I told them about the blatant discrimination in that one horrible lab. It seems like the professors here are hard to talk to at first, but if they get to know you as a person, they are SUPER helpful and supportive. A handful of the professors here want to help you succeed, the other half and more so researchers who are horrible at teaching so be prepared to teach yourself from the start. Another pet peev of mine here at UEA is the fact that 90% of lectures are extremely boring, monotone, and not very engaging. Professors get angry when students dont show up to lecture but they read their slides word for word! Only a few lecturers ask students questions during class and get us involved in discussions so we actually digest and piece together what we learned( S/O to Cell Biology for being the most engaging and relatively enjoyable class for me). At my home university, iclickers, quiz questions, and other methods are used to get students involved but for some odd reason, most science lecturers avoid this(not the same for other majors like economics and business from what i have heard). So again, you really are in charge of your own learning and teaching yourself for the most part.

Overall, i feel like I set myself back a year academically with this university and its lack of support services, little to no diversity in both students, staff, and teaching styles within the sciences, and slow grade publishing. I worked my butt off this year and ended it mentally exhausted and feeling defeated. So if you want one heck of a challenge, go to UEA. Maybe it will put pressure on the vice chancellor to actually do something about these issues and allow the school to grow into its full potential.

How can this program be improved?
More educational and mental healthcare support for students. Tell international students how grading and exams work before we come overseas. Work on making the campus safer(in terms of drug counseling and a better understanding of addiction/ mental illness for first year students- especially low income students, immigrant students, and students of color who are routinely ignored and put in worse off situations because mental health staff are not trained on how to deal with intersectional issues such as racism, poverty, LGBTQ+ students, and different cultures) and more inclusive/ accepting campus culture. Also allowing for international students to live together and support each other( not just into, which most western SA students dont really know much about). Allow older SA students to know more about housing demographics( i would not have lived in the Zigs if i had known everyone would be a first year student when im in my fourth year and way more serious about my studies).
Response from University of East Anglia

We are saddened to read the review and to hear that you feel your experience at UEA was not what we’d wish for. UEA is a diverse university that welcomes students and staff from all backgrounds and we want all students to have a positive experience of university life, whatever their ethnicity or culture, sex, sexual orientation or identity, background, financial status or disability. UEA is proud to be an LGBT+ friendly university with a warm and welcoming atmosphere no matter how students identify.
UEA is strongly committed to supporting student wellbeing and UEA has amongst the best waiting times for Mental Health support in the sector, with an average of 6 days for a student to be seen by a wellbeing adviser in the Student Support Service. We offer a range of support, from online resources, workshops, and peer support, through to three different types of one-to-one therapeutic intervention.
The “Never OK” campaign runs in addition to, and alongside, our well-established policies and procedures on harassment. It would not be the case to say that prior to the launch of this particular campaign there was no means of addressing concerns relating to harassment. Whilst the campaign ran a particular focus last year on sexual harassment and violence, and in the 2018 academic year the focus will be hate crime, the campaign covers all areas and we believe this is clear in the promotional material. Racism in all its forms is not tolerated at UEA and a complaints system exists that is available for students who have concerns, which would be fully investigated. Without such an investigation, it would not be appropriate to take a view on the veracity of the allegations. Advice and guidance on dealing with complaints of harassment and sexual violence is available during working hours from the Student Support Service and Student’s Union Advice Centre, and out of hours through the Warden and Security teams. We believe that sources of support are widely advertised and well understood, and are prominently advertised on the student web portal landing-page.
All students in every Faculty at UEA (including visiting and part-time) are assigned an Adviser who supports them in all matters academic, professional and personal during their time at UEA.
Students are appraised prior to their arrival at UEA that the methods of teaching and overall academic culture will be different to what they are used to at their home universities/in their home countries, with particular emphasis on the expectation that students will take responsibility for individual learning. Students are also advised at the start of term of the difference between formative and summative assessments, and to reach out to LTS Hubs and academic advisers with questions concerning grading and assessments.
It is hoped that in addition to the information and support offered by the UEA Study Abroad team, students will be motivated to explore and research their destination independently, including how they can expect to be taught and learn while studying in a foreign country (and prepare themselves accordingly as part of the process of going abroad).
UEA Accommodation operates a policy of integration, to ensure that each individual residence managed by the University is inhabited by a diverse community of students from a variety of countries and cultures. Due to how UEA’s courses and semesters operate, Study Abroad students are housed with undergraduate students in residences, but can request to be allocated in the same flats as mature students (that is, students who are over the age of 21) at the point of application.

INTO UEA operates on the University’s campus, but they are not one and the same: INTO is a separate company, which works with university partners to provide specialist degrees and pathway programmes designed to enable international students to study at leading UK universities. There are no students living in INTO’s residences who are not from overseas.

No, I don't recommend this program
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Norwich itself was absolutely gorgeous and the community friendly, inviting, and warm with rich culture at every corner. Campus was small enough to be easily traversed while large enough to see new students every day. The library is quiet and always open for those who need access to printers and computers, or a quiet space, and the LCR has weekly events events for those who want to party and de-stress. The teaching style at the University is different from that in the States, however, in that it is completely self-paced and there is little work to be done for lectures. For the academic year I studied, I wrote four papers and took six final exams, and that was the entirety of my workload. The rest of the year I spent reading articles for lectures and books outside of class, besides work, and it was completely up to my own habits to depict how well I did.

Classes are completely self-paced and with hour-long lectures once or twice a week (depending on course load) there leaves plenty of reading and studying time with classes you're interested in. I worked part-time as a bartender as well and was able to juggle work and my classes with moderate ease, working ~20 hours per week and as a full time student. I was able to travel around England as well over the long breaks (a month for Christmas time and another month for Easter) and meet many people who shared the same interests I did. A key part of English culture lies in drinking and even if people don't drink for the sake of getting drunk, going out into town for pub crawls is a common thing for club activities and there are plenty of pubs to choose from; there is a saying that there "are churches in Norwich for every Sunday of the year and a pub for every other day in the year."

How can this program be improved?
With a few modifications to the campus itself (such as more launderettes/laundromats), I have loved my trip and am grateful to the program for allowing me the opportunity.
Response from University of East Anglia

Hi Rowan!
Thanks for taking the time to share your experiences. I'm so glad you enjoyed your time at UEA and that you were able to explore England. Good luck with the rest of your studies - UEA will be waiting for you if you ever wish to visit in the future.
Best wishes,
UEA Study Abroad Office.

Yes, I recommend this program


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