by Annie Paisley Doherty–My name is Annie Doherty and this year I have been participating in a study abroad year through a program called Study USA. I attend Ulster University in Northern Ireland where I studied Social Policy with Criminology.
This is where we see the first big difference I have experienced between studying in both countries. In Northern Ireland and the United Kingdom we apply to university to do one degree, where the only thing we can “pick” is the type of modules we do.
Here in America you can apply to college without any idea of what type of course you will study and pick electives that are not directly related to your course.
Another major difference between Morningside and Ulster University would be the size and style of campus. At Morningside the buildings are spread out over campus and almost every student lives on campus. At Ulster the university building is one building and it is rare to live on campus. The main difference this creates is that while Morningside feels like a home and a community where most people know each other, at Ulster University I knew a few girls from my courses and no one else.
Lastly, American college grade system is completely different to that at home. At my home institution for each class your grade was based off two essays and one exam, putting a lot of pressure on students to do well as that is the only opportunity you have to do well.
In America, there are many more opportunities for students to achieve credit towards their grade and allows for a lot less pressure to be placed on the students and allows for more opportunities for success.
Studying in America has allowed me a great opportunity to totally immerse myself in a whole new culture and way of living and Morningside has been so welcoming. My time in America is something I will never forget.