Wednesday, December 31, 2008


So I realized that I neglected to say that I'm going to be studying abroad at the University of Leeds in Leeds, England.  Which is why I'm putting up this second entry.
While I'm here, might as well go over some other stuff.

At Tech, application dates for study abroad are either September 1st or October 1st.  Some schools require teacher reccommendations, but Leeds doesn't.  The application itself is fairly simple- who you are, where you live, why you want to study abroad (just a paragraph or so).  The Office of International Education then looks over your application and nominates you for study abroad.  So, the application was due October 1st for me, and I heard back that I was nominated probably about two weeks later.  OIE will send an email, telling you that they're mailing you a bunch of papers telling you how to apply at Leeds.  Now, this was a pain in the ass, because inter-campus mail takes forever to get to you apparently.  I got the information two days before the application was due to Leeds, and a week after I got the email.  Upon opening the envelope, I found that there was no reason for them to mail the information, because all of it was information (a letter) telling us what websites to go to to apply and to figure out classes.

Now, ordinarialy, I don't get too bothered about working under pressure.  But this was a little ridiculous.  The Leeds application required an essay (hooray!) and they require that you pick your classes when you apply.  So, in two days I suddenly had to write an essay and decide what classes I wanted to take.  That thrown in on top of mid-October school work.  I think I had a test one of those days.  

Anyway, it all worked out pretty well.  Tech has a Foreign Credit Approval (FCA) form that you need to fill out so that your classes will transfer back, so the next couple of weeks I spent filling that out.  Wasn't too hard, I had two electives (email the registrar to get those approved), organic chemistry, and statics.

At Leeds, their classes are all worth 10 or 20 credits, and they require that everyone takes 60 credits a semester.  60 Leeds credits transfer back as somewhere between 19 and 21 credits, depending on what departments you have to go through.  I'm getting 7 for each of my elective classes, 3 for organic chem, and 2 for statics.  (Electives are 20 credits, the other two are 10 each.)  Also, their classes are called modules.  Not really sure why.

We heard back from Leeds in mid-November letting us know that we got accepted.  They sent a package (to the OIE office) with miscellaneous information which didn't show up until early December.  Before hearing back, OIE holds pre-departure sessions where you talk about culture shock, etc.  There's also an online thing you have to go through, and then a 15 minute follow up meeting where they give you extra packets and forms to fill out.  It's helpful if you tell them at the 15 minute meeting to email you when you get your Leeds packet.  By the time I had my 15 minute meeting it was early December, so I was worried about campus mail taking a week again.  

Anyway- housing!
Leeds guarantees housing to study abroad students if you apply by December 1st.  They'll email and let you know how to go about doing that, same time as when they email you to let you know you got accepted.  You'll have to look through their website to pick which dorms you'd want, because you won't get their packet until December, and it has a brochure on the dorms.  
On the Leeds website, they reccommended Mary Morris as an alternative choice for international students.  
Let me take this as a chance to introduce you to my boyfriend, Jake.  He's coming to Leeds with me since he didn't know enough German to go to the place in Germany he wanted to go to.  So he figured Leeds would still be study abroad and would still be awesome.
Mary Morris offers family housing, single rooms... lots of options, so we had looked at that first, but ultimately decided to go for Leeds housing, so we applied for that.
Leeds housing offers a couple of different options- catered, self-catered, and I want to say there was something else, but I can't think of it at the moment.  We both said we wanted catered, since then we wouldn't have to worry about food.  
Leeds housing got back to us the weekend before Christmas to let us know where our rooms were, if we wanted them.  My room was 2 miles from campus, and was self-catered (I'd have to cook myself), and Jake's was 4 miles from campus and catered.
Needless to say, we were not amused.
So, we applied for Mary Morris to see if we could get something closer to campus and/or together.  They offered us a 2 bedroom cottage for about the same price as I would have been paying for my room.  Cut that in half, and we saved a lot of money by going this way.  The biggest downside is that there wouldn't be a lot of students around, but Mary Morris puts on events for their residents, and we can always have friends over to the house.
My reccommendation- if you're looking for housing while you're studying abroad at Leeds, apply to both Leeds housing and Mary Morris- Mary Morris is cheaper, and their single rooms are only a mile and a half from campus.  Both of them require a deposit only after you accept the offer, so there's no reason to not apply to both at the same time and then see who gives you the better deal.  So far the people at Mary Morris have been very accomodating.

First Entry

Alright, here's the deal:

I'm a girl, who goes to Tech, as the title might imply.  For those of you who may be confused, Tech refers to Georgia Tech, not any other Tech school, because Tech is the best.  (I may be a bit opinionated.)

There are several reasons I'm writing this-
1- To let future Tech students interested in going to Leeds know about problems I ran into and what I did to solve them,
2- To have some record of what I did while abroad for myself, and
3- To keep everyone back home aware of what I've been up to.

Not necessarily in that order.  
If anyone has any questions about anything specific, or advice on where I should visit, feel free to leave me comments, and I'll try my best to reply.

I guess that's it for now.  In the next couple of days I'll get something up about housing and the application process and how I'm planning on getting there.