My semester abroad started on the 17th of September, when I flew to London and a bus from the University picked me up from the airport, which was a special service for international students. My university classes started two weeks after but before that, the welcome week took place and I already met other exchange students.
The University of Derby, located in the heart of England, provides over 300 study programmes. Currently the university is home to around 34,000 students in all areas of study. The modules to take are rather different than the courses in Austria as one module includes 20 credits, which equals 10 ECTS. Therefore, I attended 4 modules from different study programmes namely English Language, Sports Coaching, Physical Activity and Teaching Physical Education. Unfortunately, I was not allowed to do a school practice due to covid-19 as well as Brexit regulations.
Moreover, the University’s student union offers different sports clubs and student societies to join, which is uncommon in Austria. Among these offers, there is something for everyone, whether it is dancing, cheerleading, badminton, or a society such as K-pop, mathematics or derby worldwide for international students. I myself joined the volleyball team and made some good friends there, with whom I also went on trips and spend time in the library.
Derby is a city located in the east midlands. It lies in the heart of Derbyshire and has a population of about 266.000 people. Even if it is a rather small city, it has everything you need: beautiful parks, a big shopping mall, lovely cafés, restaurants and of course, British pubs and clubs to go out.
For accommodation, I chose to stay in halls of residence, as it is simply the easiest option. It is not as common as in other cities that students rent a room in a shared flat for a short time and as my stay in the UK only lasted three months, it was convenient to stay in halls. I lived in an accommodation provided by the University of Derby called “Princess Alice Court” and I had a small room with my own bathroom in a shared flat with four British girls. The bus stop of the University bus was right in front of the building and all other exchange students lived there as well.
Travelling/Sports clubs/University Societies
In my free time, I often played sports at the university sports centre, as I was part of the volleyball team. However, I also went to the gym and tried new kind of sports like squash, dodgeball and climbing for free. Besides that, I sometimes went to town for coffee or food with friends or went for a beer at a pub in the evening.
On weekends, I often went on trips with friends, who were exchange students themselves, from Czech Republic, Italy, Belgium, Poland and the Netherlands. We had the chance to visit Birmingham, Nottingham, Manchester, Liverpool, York, London, the Peak District National Park and even Edinburgh, Glasgow and the Scottish Highlands. All of them were easily accessible by train right from the Derby station.
In general, I had a great time in England and would recommend everyone, who wants to stay in the UK, to become a part of Derby Uni! 🙂
Erasmus report by Michelle Slanitsch