As a foreign student, you can only take a maximum of four modules at the University of Essex . What you actually study does not matter when you enroll. As a sociology student, I took two modules in psychoanalysis, one in philosophy and one in sociology. In addition to the modules in which I was enrolled, I also attended a number of other lectures – which was never a problem for the lecturers. However, because I did not officially take part, I unfortunately had no access to the literature discussed, which unfortunately made it impossible to participate in the classes. I also had a few frustrating moments in which I had to find out early in the morning that the event had been canceled – because of course I wasn’t on the mailing list either.
As far as I could see, the modules all seem to consist of a lecture and an accompanying class. At the beginning of each event, students have to register electronically with their student card. If you are absent from an event too often, you will be asked if everything is okay. I am unable to judge whether there is a direct compulsory attendance; With the high tuition fees (3900 pounds for the fall trimester) it is your own fault if you do not go to the events.
Overall, my classes were very small and familiar – a good place to discuss, exchange ideas and ask questions. However, the teaching units only last 50 minutes – a bit short for my taste. In my opinion, I cannot say anything general about the quality of teaching. As at every university there are good and bad lecturers and I had modules in which I could learn a lot and some in which I almost fell asleep. The university has a good reputation in England.
The campus is very nice.The entire complex was built in the 1960s, if my memory is not misleading, and is very space-efficient. There are a total of four levels in the core campus: three of them can be seen on the surface, because if you want to go from Square 4 to Square 3 and from Square 2 to Square 1, you have to descend stairs. The lower level is below these places and can only be reached via detours. There are parking spaces for bicycles and cars as well as delivery entrances. Each square is lined with teaching buildings, which are all connected to one another. So if you get into the elevator in a building on Square 4, go all the way down and then walk a bit in the right direction, you’ll eventually get out on Square 2.a small town could emerge: there are two grocery stores, a bookstore, two art galleries, two / three bars, two clubs, several snack bars and restaurants, a cinema, a theater and much more corresponded.
Right next to the campus is the picturesque Wivenhoe Park, which is ideal for walking, jogging and, in summer, for other things. The heart of this park are two landscaped lakes with fountains in the middle. My favorite place there was the “Tree 31”, under which you could sit and have a beautiful view of one of the lakes, the rest of the park and parts of the campus.
Also worth mentioning are the “Albert Sloman Library”, which still has a functioning paternoster, and the “Silberrad Student Center”, which is directly adjacent to one of the two lakes.
I was lucky enough to get an on-campus accommodation . Because, as I had noticed way too late, it was not as natural as expected to be able to live on campus. Many students also have to look for something in the surrounding towns – a thought that panicked me when I wasn’t sure about it. As I was then able to see on site, there are many apartments in the vicinity of the university exactly for this purpose.
I lived in the Rayleigh Tower, one of four North Towers, which were the cheapest accommodation on campus after the South Towers (around £ 1100 rent for the trimester). In accordance with the low (sic!) Price, the apartment was not particularly beautiful or comfortably furnished and looked quite old. From what I heard, the more expensive accommodations are cozier. In terms of infrastructure, however, there is nothing wrong with it: all twelve residents on my floor had enough bathrooms and space and options for cooking.
The towers are known for having the most parties in them and since there is also a lot going on at night on campus, people with a light sleep would be better advised to find more expensive, quieter and less centrally located accommodation. If, on the other hand, you have a good night’s sleep, also like to party and get bogged down with time in the morning, the towers are more something for you due to their very central location.
There was a laundry room right next to the Rayleigh Tower, the system of which was not particularly easy to understand. But when I got it, it was very easy :).
At least once a week a false fire alarm went off in the entire tower; after all, it was always Tuesday afternoons and at some point nobody reacted to it. It was rumored, however, that the poor people in the South Towers were sometimes uselessly rang out of bed in the middle of the night.
The locking system was also annoying: you had a chip card to get into the apartment and your own room. Sometimes it happened that you were in the kitchen, the chip card was still in the room and the door then locked by itself. Then you had to go to the Silberrad Student Center or the Security Office to get a new chip card. It happened to a friend at three o’clock in the morning at a toilet. So ALWAYS have the card with you !!
Before my stay abroad began, I had many questions and concerns that the people from the Study Abroad Office could help me with competently. The care was friendly and personal. I also got a lot of support in advance from Microedu.net. Thanks for that! Several events were organized on site that were specially designed for foreign students. I went to one of them – it was nice; but couldn’t motivate me to go to more. The “Study Abroad Office” is located on Square 2 and if you ever have any problems, you will definitely find support there.