Hertfordshire Blog Post

Study Abroad Blog

Hertfordshire Q&A

What made you decide to apply for the University of Hertfordshire exchange program?

palace As an East Texas native, I can confidently say there is a lot more that the world has to offer. My father worked as a psychology professor in China and went to school in both Japan and South Korea. He was the one that recommended the idea to take part in the study abroad program at UT Tyler. Looking into programs, there was a partner university that was only 50 minutes or so away from London called the University of Hertfordshire. What made me go here is the expansion of culture, people, relations, and overall immersing myself into something I am not comfortable in. The program was also located in a country which speaks English, so the convenience of not having to learn another language made my experience easier. I thought going to a country where English wasn't the dominant language would be more difficult for me to interact socially and possibly make my time in that country more challenging. 


What are some things you wished you researched about the UK before you departed?

While living in the UK, I realized there are not too many differences necessarily from American culture and British culture. However, there are some aspects that I wish I had researched more that could have saved me a  lot of time and money. First of all is the food- to be more specific, groceries. The health code in the UK is much more strict which results in less preservatives or add-ons in the food. What I mean by this is that everything is 'better' for you but they spoil and go bad much more quickly. But groceries are also cheaper too depending on where you buy them from like Aldi or Lidl. I had to learn to pay close attention to the expiration dates on packages and plan my meals accordingly.

The public transportation system is another thing I struggled with initially. In East Texas, there is not a lot of public transportation let alone subways in Tyler. And I quickly learned that the public transportation system is not always reliable in London because of 'strikes'. These strikes are the result of bus drivers, tube station workers, and national rail employees not being paid well.

However, all of these things are something I overcame fairly quickly and are things you will understand as you stay in the UK and grow more comfortable too. 


What have you liked about your time in England?

bfiI have enjoyed my time so much in England and what it had to offer me. First is the history and culture that is offered here. Knowing some or most buildings are even older than America itself is shocking and mind boggling at times. Next is the convenience of having public transportation and being able to go explore one of the most populated and diverse cities in the world, London. I think one of my favorite parts of the time I spent here is the sheer options and opportunities I experienced in London. I had the chance to visit the BFI Film Festival in October and watched movies that hadn't been released yet such as Bones and All, My Policeman, and Glass Onion. I also went to a lot of concerts while in London such as Kendrick Lamar, Kid Cudi, and The 1975. 

London has also offered me an abundance of food options. And even if the stereotype of the UK might be that they have bad food, the country has yet to disappoint me. 

Lastly, the football (soccer) culture here is something else entirely. I was fortunate enough to go watch a match between Tottenham vs Liverpool. And immersing myself in that environment while watching the match is something that I have never felt in my life when it comes to sports. It was also World Cup season while I was in England and the excitement that came with the tournament was unbelievable and fun. 


England brought me a new sense of culture and people while teaching me how to adapt with the new. My time here is something that I'll never forget and will cherish for the rest of my life.  


This post was contributed by Sam, a study abroad alumni from Fall 2022. Sam is a Management major who studied abroad in England.