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Are you interested in finding out what past exchange students have to say about their time in Miami?  What makes the University of Miami such a great place to study for a semester or year exchange?  Read below to find out!

 

 

“I am very thankful for getting a chance to study abroad at UM, as it was an eye-opening adventure full of cultural immersion. UM gave me the best friends, memories and experiences I could have ever wished. The whole exchange seemed like a dream and I wish it had lasted a little longer… “

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Anna Franchi
Exchange student from Università Cattólica del Sacro Cuore, Italy
Fall 2013

“This exchange semester was a great experience: UM is a great school and people are awesome! But I used this time also for my future career: thanks to a network of contacts that I could create here, I worked as a hostess at Art Basel in Miami Beach and I got an internship in New York for next semester. These months at the UM couldn’t have been better!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Matthew Whitton
Exchange student from The University of Kent, England

“Participating in the 2012 University of Miami Homecoming Parade was like nothing I had experienced before. It was fantastic to meet President Shalala and the mascot, Sebastian the Ibis and I feel that without being in the parade, such opportunities would not have arisen. Representing my residential college as Mr. Eaton was a real honour. Although the University of Kent and UM share some resemblances, something that is incomparable is the amazing school spirit that exists on both the Coral Gables campus and in the city itself. To have the opportunity to be part of a university that is a central and proud part of the community, with terrific facilities and a positive working ethos, is something that I would advertise to any prospective exchange student.”


Sam Godden
Exchange Student from Lancaster University, England
Biology Major
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“Studying in Miami for a year was truly amazing.  I obviously expected it to be different from Lancaster, but what I found totally blew me away.  From the city itself, to the campus, and from the friends I made, to the work I did, every part was sensational.  I would do it again in a heartbeat, and I will never forget my Miami experiences.”

What was it like living in the dorms? How was it different from the dorms at home?
“Living in the dorms in Miami (Pearson to be exact) was obviously different from back home in England.  The most in your face difference is the number of people in the room.  But the whole roommate thing didn’t take too long to get used to, and me and my roommate became close, and as he’s only across the Irish sea from me, I hope we will remain so.  There are also a lot more people in each building than there are back home, so you get to know a smaller percentage of the people, but it’s still really easy to make good friends.  Another aspect of the dorms in Miami was the amount of events that were organized, both the building, and for each individual floor.”

How would you compare the classes at UM to your home university?
“The classes at Miami were definitely more interactive than the classes in England.  You are encouraged by almost every lecturer to ask a lot of questions, and the lecturer in turn will ask a lot of questions to the class. In some of my classes, part of the grade was influenced by in class participation.  Another big difference is the amount of testing. Being a biology major, there wasn’t much coursework at all, but at UM there were tests every 3-4 weeks or so in most of the classes, and a high percentage of the grade was based on these, which takes the pressure off a little for the finals.”

Aspects of living in Miami that you liked?
“Miami is a lot busier than Lancaster, and also a lot bigger.  (To be honest, everything in America is a lot bigger).  I very much enjoyed the nightlife.  Didn’t make it out to South Beach too often (a little too pricey for me), but both Coconut Grove and Downtown Miami contain fun bars and clubs.  I also very much enjoyed the weather. Sometimes it’s a little too humid, and sunburn is always a risk, but overall, very enjoyable, as long as you manage to avoid the brief, but heavy rain showers.  I also enjoyed the shopping in Miami, and came back with more than double the amount of clothes that I went out with.”

Fun things that you did while in Miami?
“On a daily basis I would chill out at the outdoor pool and catch a few rays, or go to the gym (which has excellent facilities, and is very good value for money).  I enjoyed occasional involvement with intramural soccer competition, and Sports Fest.  The free trips to the university football games were also a highlight.”

Miami as a bilingual/multicultural/international city?
“Miami is definitely an international city, there’s no doubt about it.  Many of the people, both students, and the public, speak two languages, and have South American or Caribbean blood in them.  My girlfriend for example, who I met at Miami, is half Cuban, and this is by no means rare.”

Dale Barnett
Exchange Student from University of Sussex, England
Media Studies
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“If I had to sum up my semester abroad, I would say it was without doubt the best time of my life. I made wonderful friends and unforgettable experiences. I miss it every day. Everyone must study abroad, and the University of Miami went above and beyond my wildest dreams.”

What was it like living in the dorms? How was it different from the dorms at home?
“Living in the dorms was extremely worthwhile. I was initially put in the apartment area, and asked to be moved. This was the correct decision as my social experience at UM was much improved in the dorms. It’s daunting for a study abroad student to start living in another country where they might not know anybody, thus having friendly people everywhere you look. Having a roommate was very different to halls in England where you have your own room. I absolutely loved having someone to share my time with and even felt a little lonely when they weren’t in.”

How would you compare the classes at UM to your home university?
“Classes were similar to home, based on a part lecture and part seminar/class structure. The only difference was the quantity of students.”

Aspects of living in Miami that you liked?
“Living in Miami was brilliant as it was so close to the beach, transport was easy to access and fairly cheap. The city at night was busy, as were the surrounded areas around campus such a Coconut Grove and Sunset Place.  The weather of course was fantastic, even in December. People are very helpful and welcoming to foreign people.”

Fun things that you did while in Miami?
“While studying at UM, I did a lot of fun things. I chose to travel around the country a bit, for thanksgiving I went to New York to stay with family and see the parade and “Black Friday” sales mayhem! This was a short flight from Miami and the airport is so easy to get to from campus. I went to the Miami Seaquarium and fulfilled my lifelong ambition of swimming with dolphins. I went to Orlando and visited Disneyworld and Universal, which was only a few hours on a train. To be honest there was always something exciting going on campus: foam parties, pep rallies, fraternity parties, live music, pool parties, fireworks and of course the UM Hurricane football games. I went to every game as they were incredibly exciting and the atmosphere was unparalleled! I also went to the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Fort Lauderdale when I turned 21, and had dinner in The Biltmore and Fontainebleau hotels.”

Miami as a bilingual/multicultural/international city?
“It is helpful in Miami if you can speak Spanish, having said that I can’t speak a word and didn’t have a problem. The city is very diverse and interesting with all the cultures. I found the people were very interested when I told them I was from England.

I think to get a real experience in America, you must live and work there for a period of time longer than a two week holiday. Living in a big city like Miami you’ll find that there are always popular, easily accessible tourist areas, but exploring the less-known parts of the city and even travelling to more remote areas of the U.S. allowed me to experience a greater range of American cultures and peoples.”


Amy Martin
Exchange Student from Cardiff University, Wales
Marine Geoscience
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“During my time as an exchange student at University of Miami I was presented with many fantastic opportunities, on academic, professional and personal levels. One of the opportunities was volunteering at the 2010 Clinton Global Initiative University event, led by former US President Bill Clinton, who I had the privilege of meeting. He talked to me about new agricultural techniques which are being implemented in South America, to help repair the damage deforestation has done. Working on the CGI U helped me gain a better perspective on global challenges, and the solutions that we can provide.”