Gillian Sherman is spending her winter semester abroad at Kent University in the UK. She’s a 3rd year Con-Ed student majoring in English Literature. Gillian chose to study abroad at a partner university in England because she felt it would complement her major.
“It is a perfect fit to study English in England!” she says.
Gillian pursued a study abroad because she wanted to experience living in another country and decided that a semester abroad would be the perfect opportunity to do so.
The academic system she is experiencing at Kent is quite different from the system at Trent she tells us. “I take only 2 courses here” she says “there aren’t any exams as our grade is 100% coursework”. “It is not a polarizing difference from Trent” Gillian says “but it was a little strange to wrap my head around when I first got here”.
Her two classes are literature focused. One explores the concept of the figuCore of the ‘stranger’ in literature and the other is an African-American and Canadian Literature course. “Both address post-colonialist literature” she says, “which I am very interested in pursuing in the future”.
Gillian is thoroughly enjoying her time in the UK. “I knew within a week or two that I could have managed living here for the full year instead of just the semester” she says. “The country itself is not that different from Canada, culturally or linguistically”.
What differences has she noticed between Canada and the UK? “Food costs quite a bit more here” she says!
Gillian has met many other students who are also studying abroad. “I also loved my [class] seminars” she says. “I could meet, listen and participate in discussions with people from England, the rest of Europe and some from North America”.
So far Gillian has had the opportunity to travel throughout the UK and to Europe. “I went to Edinburgh and Glasgow during my Reading Break” she says. She also visited Lisbon and Paris on weekend trips. “My mother visited from Canada and we went to visit family in Bristol” she tells us.
She says she has been very focused on schoolwork which has been her priority over traveling during the semester. “My friend and I plan on traveling much more once school finishes in April” she says.
Her final piece of advice to someone considering a study abroad?
“If it something that interests you now, attend some of the programs/meetups with the Study Abroad office. I became interested only after a friend had mentioned it. I am so glad she did because it has been such a great opportunity.”