London – Goldsmiths, University of London

Reasons people went to this university/place

  • Southern accent, London as a vibrant, lively city, creative university, open-minded people, arts, great literature courses, interesting range of culture courses

Recommended semester to go there

  • Winter term (three months), return before Christmas, wonderful atmosphere in autumn and before Christmas, get bureaucracy done over summer holidays – time for preparation, suits with our semesters; can’t comment on summer term though

Before going there

Accommodation experiences

  • At halls next to university: Very expensive, small but nice enough room, own bathroom, shared kitchen with 7 people, good hygiene standards, strict rules, but safety

Special items to pack

  • Adapters, definitely. Also a bedside lamp, sheets, cushion and pillow (but can be ordered and sent directly to the room – very recommendable)

How people who went there handled their finances

  • I didn’t open a new bank account as I only spent three months there, calculated approximately 1000 Pounds per month in advance

University Information

Rough semester schedule

  • Beginning of autumn term: Welcome week at the end of September (gives the opportunity to settle in), one week after beginning
  • End of autumn term: First or second week of December

Holidays during the semester

  • Autumn term: In October, middle of term: one week off called ‘Reading Week’ as a preparation time, but many students travel

Number of ECTS the university expected former exchange students to do

  • Three courses (each had 7,5 ECTS), so 22,5 in three months.

Course restrictions and when the university informed students about those

  • Yes, there are. The university sent out the course choices quite late (after the Learning Agreement had already had to be handed in), by July. But changes can be made any time before the second week of term.

Did the university actually offer the classes students originally planned to do?

  • Yes.

Recommended  courses/modules

  • Literary London: Sensibility and Romanticism – If you are into literature 🙂

Exam period

  • No, not for foreign students in autumn term. Essay serve as assessment. Might be different in spring term.

How exams look like

  • Essays (between 3000 and 4000 words), deadline was at the end of January (so a whole month after the term had ended – plenty of time, still recommendable to finish at least one essay there, e.g. during Reading Week)

Important deadlines

  • Individual with each professor, usually the end of January

Other information

Recommended restaurants, cafes, bars, shopping centers, etc.

  • Many cute cafés along New Cross Road, in Deptford, in Greenwich (Greenwich Market at the weekend!), Pub The Rose next to the Halls

Recommended secret spots in the city/town

  • Greenwich, travelling home by boat, Telegraph Hill (view over city), Hampstead Heath and Keats’ House, view from Tate Modern, exploring by walking

Recommended day trips

  • Cambridge, definitely

Recommended places or events to meet new people/make new friends

  • Be active during Welcome Week, go to local pubs, join a society (any kind of sports, political activism, religions, arts, literature)

Public transport offered in the city/area of the University

  • Well-functioning bus system around university; two overground stations very close to university (max. 5 min.), a few stations away from the underground (Canada Water), going to the centre by overground and underground in approx. 25 – 30 minutes, by bus in 40 minutes (cheaper option, though); generally an Oyster card recommended as a ticket

Other recommendations

Is this University the right place for me?

You should spend your semester/year abroad at this university or place

  • If you are open-minded and want to be surrounded by leftist, critical, arty people
  • If you enjoy discussing things openly and getting to see things from a new perspective
  • If you want to combine your hobbies like sports with university life
  • If you like to explore alternative culture
  • If you don’t mind living in a big city
  • If you want to make a life-changing experience that will expand your mind
  • If you want to get in touch with many international students
  • If you appreciate multi-cultured surroundings
  • If you want to be more than just a number, but be cared about by professors and other institutions at university

You should not spend your semester/year abroad at this university or place

  • if you don’t necessarily like big cities
  • if you’re short for money

(all information provided is based on 1 filled out questionnaire)