The International Summer School 2013 was one of the greatest, busiest and exciting experiences of my life. I have been lucky enough to travel quite a bit, but no other trip has quite compared to this one.
Norwich is such a beautiful city; a perfect mix of medieval, rustic architecture and a vibrant urban scene. The University of East Anglia campus itself is amazing; small enough not to feel overwhelming and to make you feel like it's a second home, but big enough to include all the amenities a student could ever want, including excellent food services, beautiful grounds, a fully equipped sportspark and even an art gallery!
The academic work provided me very useful skills for my university career. I was in the Future Medicine module, and we used a learning system called "Problem Based Learning" which was an excellent scenario-based learning tool. I found this a brilliant way to approach the topics, and I really enjoyed learning how our module applied to the different students who were taking it.
The social side of the program was simply outstanding. We were given a variety of options for add-ons, such as a brewery tour, Mississippi steamboat cruise on the Norfolk Broads and dry ski slope tubing! We also had the option to take a weekend trip to Stonehenge, Bath and Oxford which was truly unforgettable. This was over and above day trips to Cambridge and London and an awesome Sunday Roast!
But by far the best, most memorable part of this entire experience was the people. If none of the above convinced you that this is a worthwhile experience, then this is what should win you over...
The instructors were approachable and had such valuable knowledge, and now act as great connections for us in our respective fields. The organizers were truly remarkable; how they manage to have everything go off without a hitch, and always with a big smile on their face, is unfathomable and so very appreciated. The student volunteers become a part of the extended family that you create while on exchange; they live, laugh and do all the crazy things you do, with you.
The other students on exchange become lifelong friends, reasons to travel even more, and the stars of a million memories that you take with you when the exchange comes to an end. It's sad when you have to leave, but you're guaranteed to leave a better person, wondering how you got to be lucky enough to have an experience like this, and planning the next trip to see your new friends.
So, just go on exchange. Seriously. Do it.