Studying abroad at Royal Holloway-University of London (RHUL) for the fall semester was such an exciting experience. RHUL is in Egham, England, and is a short train ride to London. The host family I stayed with lives in a town called Staines-upon-Thames, or simply “Staines.” I think Staines and Egham closely resembled Branford, my hometown in Florida which made me feel more at home. However, going to London the first time was a completely different experience! I was totally thrown out of my element trying to navigate the city’s buses, trains, and the London Underground. My biggest piece of advice to students who are looking to travel (especially for the first time) is to be open and have patience. It wasn’t easy learning how to navigate England (especially train stations like Clapham Junction), but over time I got more and more used to it and became better at navigating its large traffic system. My host family was especially helpful too when it came to navigation, so I highly suggest speaking with someone familiar with the area! While in London, I got to visit places like The National Gallery, Twinings (London’s oldest tea shop!), The British Library, The London Eye, and Windsor Castle. While visiting Windsor Castle, my sister and I got to see the changing of the guards, tour the State Apartments inside the castle, and have coffee and cake! Also, during my trip to The British Library, I was able to see the works of Virginia Woolf and Ian Fleming!
While studying at RHUL, I took exciting classes, including one in documentary filmmaking and accessed unique film resources at RHUL’s library. My professors were very helpful when it came to questions about course material too. I think the courses I took at RHUL really helped prepare me for my return to my home university because now I am working on my English honors thesis, where I plan to create a documentary of my own! My goal later in life is to become an investigative journalist.
Although I enjoyed my time in England, I will say that traveling and living there was EXPENSIVE. The next piece of advice I would give is to apply to scholarships like Sigma Tau Delta’s Study Abroad Scholarship to curb those expensive costs and make traveling a reality. Receiving funding from Sigma Tau Delta helped make my study abroad experience possible, as it helped pay for essentials like rent, groceries, and my daily fare for trips to and from campus and to London. In addition to applying for scholarships, I suggest working a part-time or full-time job to have extra spending money to help with additional costs.
I highly recommend studying abroad to those who haven’t before. If you’re unsure, just take that leap of faith and give it a chance! Studying abroad gives you the opportunity to learn new things (like how to navigate London’s complex transit system) and meet new people from different parts of the world. It’s an opportunity you won’t forget!
Study Abroad Scholarships
Study Abroad Scholarships provide up to $3,000 for the purpose of studying in a program that furthers the applicant’s engagement with Sigma Tau Delta’s mission for an academic term or year in a certified, undergraduate program outside the country in which the nominating chapter is located. The scholarship also provides up to $1,500 for applicants whose study abroad program does not constitute a full academic term. Applicants should demonstrate academic scholarship and chapter service; they also must explain the relevance of their study abroad program and activities to fostering the discipline of English, including literature, language, writing, or literacy.
Scholarship Eligibility Criteria
- General Eligibility Criteria
- Currently an undergraduate student
- Plan to study abroad in a certified undergraduate program
All applications will be submitted via the AwardSpring Online submission process.
Application Deadline: April 10, 2023, 11:59 p.m. CDT