DMU students send a message from America as incredible year abroad reaches half way stage

Two students from DMU have been making the most of their university experience by spending a year on the other side of the Atlantic as part of their degree.

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Lauren Mansey sees The White House in Washington DC

Politics and International Relations students Oliver Luscombe and Lauren Mansey are in the US until spring 2018 and, as 1,000 DMU students prepare to fly out to New York in January as part of #DMUglobal, both have told how the incredible experience is benefiting their studies.

Lauren, from Somerset, said it had been a dream of hers for many years to study in the US and chose DMU partly due to the strength of its study abroad programme.

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And her year overseas came about thanks to a friendship with a US student who studied at DMU for a term.

Lauren said: “In 2016 I met Kylie Cracknell who was a student from the US studying at DMU for a semester. We became really good friends and when it came to applying I decided to apply to her university, Francis Marion University in Florence in South Carolina, so that I’d at least have one good friend here already.

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Lauren hiking Pilot Mountain, North Carolina 

“I've done various jaunts with both the university and Kylie. I've been to Charleston (South Carolina), Wilmington (North Carolina), Washington DC, Philadelphia (Pennsylvania), and Pinnacle (NC).

“Food is another highlight: the other night myself and Kylie drove past a Krispy Kreme shop and they had their 'hot' sign so for the first time in my life I had a glazed, fresh out the oven Krispy Kreme doughnut and it was amazing. Definitely in the top five best experiences so far!

“In late October I was Secretary of the Francis Marion delegation to the South Carolina Student Legislature (SCSL). We submitted bills and then over three days we presented, debated, and voted on them.

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Lauren and fellow students on the steps of South Carolina State House

“SCSL took place in the South Carolina State House where the actual State Legislature holds session and it was a fantastic experience to be a part of it.”

Oliver said: “I chose to study abroad because I have always been interested in American culture and American politics. With my degree being Politicsand International Relations I thought that it would be an opportunity I could not miss, being able to study abroad in a country that is so politically different from the UK.

“My highlight has been the wonderful friends I have made! I have made not only many American friends but also other friends from all over the world. I have made friends from Sweden, Germany, France, China, S.Korea and Venezuela and many more!

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Oliver and his friends in the US

Lauren and Oliver have also offered advice for any other DMU students planning to spend time in the US as part of their course.

Lauren said: “General advice I would give is get in contact with your liaison at your host university early on and have them send you a check list of documents they require from you

“You can then get yourself sussed with the practical things before trying to figure out how many pairs of socks to take (enough for ten days I've found is a good amount!).

“Also, if you're having a look at potential places to study abroad and you don't see a particular country you're interested in on there, ask about it.

“#DMUglobal are so helpful and they'll sort you out. 

“Because American university life is a bit more structured than home, and they have more homework, I hope to come back with a better grasp of the way I manage my time and be generally more organised. I also want to try to see as much as possible and travel as much as I can.”

Oliver added: “The advice that I would give to students considering coming to the US is to be willing to be outgoing! Americans are very welcoming but you will need to make sure you are always willing to make friends and then you will.

“I hope that I have made friends for life and experienced a more in-depth knowledge of my course as well as American culture.”

Posted on Tuesday 26th December 2017

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