Dismiss Notice

Interview Feedback: Visit Interview Feedback to view and submit interview information.

Interviewing Masterclass: Free masterclass on interviewing from SDN and Medical College of Georgia

Study abroad

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by lost, Oct 31, 2001.

  1. Hello!
    I am planning on doing a study abroad in London my junior year(chem and econ double major). Does anyone here have any advice on when exactly would be the best time to go there(spring, fall?) and share any experiences you had there.
    Thanks!
     
  2. Coalboy

    Coalboy Senior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2001
    Messages:
    790
    Likes Received:
    4
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    I went to University College London in the Spring of 1997. I would suggest the spring semester, just because the fall semester is too short. In the fall, you don't start until later September/early October, and you are done by Christmas. In the spring, you start in January and end in May or June. Plus, you have a month off in March/April where you can travel around.
     
  3. So how was your experience there and what type of courses did you take?
    Also, are their standards higher or at par to our education system at the university level?
     
  4. Derby

    Derby Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2001
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    0
    The choice between fall and spring is a tough one. I choose to spend the fall semester of my junior year at King's College London. Basically, fall semester is almost have the length of spring. On the other hand, if you want to go straight into medical school, the april MCAT spring semester is the way to go. One last thing to think about:

    London system works 1 trimester class, 2 trimester class, 3 trimester finals for 1 & 2. So if you're going to be doing sciences in London, you will have to take your finals immediately after class w/ no time to study. This is opposed to people who are here the full year, who aren't tested in their first trimester classes for months.
     
  5. I can't think of a name

    I can't think of a name Senior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2001
    Messages:
    142
    Likes Received:
    1
    Hello,
    I studied at King's College for a year, and I took all science classes. Personally, I feel that if you can take a year abroad, then do it. It was the best year of my life, you meet a lot of great people, and you get to do a lot of travelling. But, if you only want to take a semester, then it really depends on your situation. Going fall semester means that you will have less time there and some bad weather and that you will have exams right at the end of the classes (exams there are worth 70% at least of your grade). But, on the plus side, you do get a reading week for travel (well, to read, but who really does that?!), you won't have to worry about MCATs, and they tend to be less hardcore on their exams if they are just for the foreigners leaving. In spring quarter you get lots more time there, a three to four week vacation, and exams after that vacation. If you are taking the April MCAT, you can take it in England...it is a bit more expensive, but they give you champagne when you are done. Keep in mind though that I think it falls in the middle or end of your spring break.

    So, really, the point is, if you are taking the April MCAT, it can be done abroad. But, if you are only going to study abroad for opportunities to travel, then the MCAT pretty much kills your travel time. Also, when the exams are only matters if your grades transfer back. If you are just doing classes P/F, then it really is not that big of an issue.

    Well, I don't know if any of this information is very clear, but feel free to e-mail me with any questions you may have or if I need to clarify something that I wrote!

    Good luck to you!

    PS Take a year!! It can be done!!
     
  6. Derby

    Derby Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2001
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    0
    I Can't Think of a Name: (that's a mouth full)

    Where did you live when you were at King's, and when did you go? Who knows, we may have been there together?
     
  7. I can't think of a name

    I can't think of a name Senior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2001
    Messages:
    142
    Likes Received:
    1
    Hey Derby!
    I lived at Great Dover Street and I went last academic year (2000-2001). How about you?!
     
  8. Coalboy

    Coalboy Senior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2001
    Messages:
    790
    Likes Received:
    4
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    I had a great time overall, definitely an experience I would recommend. I took three computer science classes (my major) and a french class. In general, I found the academics to be easier, but I guess that depends on where you go. The main difference is that there is very little coursework during the semester (homeworks, assignments, etc), and most of your grade hinges on the final exams.
     
  9. I can't think of a name

    I can't think of a name Senior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2001
    Messages:
    142
    Likes Received:
    1
    lost - have you thought yet about which school you would like to go to?
     
  10. USeF

    USeF sunny L.A.
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2001
    Messages:
    901
    Likes Received:
    2
    Depending on how far along you are in your pre-med classes, you may opt to take the MCAT August before your junior year starts. I finished Physics2, Biochem that summer and had 4 weeks of hard-core prepping for the August test. The trip to the UK for the fall was my 'reward' for busting my ass that summer and taking the MCAT.

    As I told incoming students at every orientation this summer, I'd trade in every positive academic and extra-curricular activity I did throughout college just to go on exchange again. Waking up everyday knowing you are on the other side of the world, taking public transportation that is clean and efficient and being a hop away from millenia of culture in Europe is NOT an opportunity that anyone should miss out on. I need to put up more pics, but my Ireland trip is up at my webpage: http://helios.acomp.usf.edu/~yturshan

    As for finishing two degrees (chem and math here.. not too far off from econ :) you can still do it if you are committed. Just make sure you pick a school where your classes can transfer back for credit toward something: be it major classes or general requirements (if your school has that sorta thing).
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  11. na...i dont exactly know where i want to go yet. This plan just popped into my head a few days back and i kinda like the idea. I have no clue as to where to start. I was thinking about the london school of economics/oxford/cambridge. Since this is just an exchange program, i'm assuming the admission isn't too selective. I'm just worried that the academics there might be too hard or that I might bomb the MCAT i'll be taking this summer(which will inturn ruin my study abroad plans) Do they usually house the exchange students together?
     
  12. Derby

    Derby Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2001
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    0
    I can't think of a name:

    I lived in St Thomas' House and went first semester last year. I worked at the bar in my dorm, Tommy's. What classes did you take first semester? I took, pharm a, biochem, comp physio, and infection & immunity.
     
  13. Derby

    Derby Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2001
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    0
    The school of economics only accepts FULL year applicants. Also, it is more then 50% international (I think even higher). This is okay, but it's not exactly a full London education experience. On the other hand, it is probably the best school in London.
     
  14. Oh...what about oxford or cambridge? do they accept applicants for a semester? what's the atmosphere there like?
     
  15. leorl

    Physician Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor Verified Account 10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2001
    Messages:
    5,559
    Likes Received:
    12
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    Okay, I echo...if you can do JYA for a full year, do it. The problem with fall semester is that it's too short for you to really get into life there. The problem with spring semester is that it's a lot harder to meet friends and join clubs, because those who were there fall semester have already formed close friendships and activities have already started. Those were my observations from people who came in for spring semester - it's also too short to really have a meaningful experience. I'm not sure of Oxford / Cambridge visiting student years - none of my friends who've gone to England went to either, so that might be indicative that they don't like just 1-yr. students or semester students (unless they're on special scholarship like Marshall or Rhodes). The best way to find out is to look on their websites, find the contact number/email for their international student office, and contact them.

    I think i've talked to you before. I studied at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland - which was modeled off Cambridge and Oxford in the 1500s. I did not fulfill any of my science or premed requirements there (I had done all my premed requirements before I left), and trying to cross-coordinate science material if you don't want to do just science is very difficult. Instead, I fulfilled my Psychology and Classics degrees and am now finishing my Biology degree my senior year (plus taking my MCAT in April). If you want to take your MCAT during your Junior Year Abroad, the only place in England which has a site is Brighton.

    Best of luck. I also would essentially drop out of school to be able to do JYA again :). It's very hard to readjust to being back here, and the only thing that keeps me uplifted is the possibility of revisiting this spring and seeing all my friends again. Actually, I am applying to complete medical education in Australia and Ireland for this very reason - I have to be abroad again! If you can make this work, guaranteed it'll be the best decision you've ever made in your entire life!
     
  16. leorl

    Physician Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor Verified Account 10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2001
    Messages:
    5,559
    Likes Received:
    12
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    Okay, I echo...if you can do JYA for a full year, do it. The problem with fall semester is that it's too short for you to really get into life there. The problem with spring semester is that it's a lot harder to meet friends and join clubs, because those who were there fall semester have already formed close friendships and activities have already started. Those were my observations from people who came in for spring semester - it's also too short to really have a meaningful experience. I'm not sure of Oxford / Cambridge visiting student years - none of my friends who've gone to England went to either, so that might be indicative that they don't like just 1-yr. students or semester students (unless they're on special scholarship like Marshall or Rhodes). The best way to find out is to look on their websites, find the contact number/email for their international student office, and contact them.

    I think i've talked to you before. I studied at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland - which was modeled off Cambridge and Oxford in the 1500s. I did not fulfill any of my science or premed requirements there (I had done all my premed requirements before I left), and trying to cross-coordinate science material if you don't want to do just science is very difficult. Instead, I fulfilled my Psychology and Classics degrees and am now finishing my Biology degree my senior year (plus taking my MCAT in April). If you want to take your MCAT during your Junior Year Abroad, the only place in England which has a site is Brighton.

    Best of luck. I also would essentially drop out of school to be able to do JYA again :). It's very hard to readjust to being back here, and the only thing that keeps me uplifted is the possibility of revisiting this spring and seeing all my friends again. Actually, I am applying to complete medical education in Australia and Ireland for this very reason - I have to be abroad again! If you can make this work, guaranteed it'll be the best decision you've ever made in your entire life!
     
  17. I can't think of a name

    I can't think of a name Senior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2001
    Messages:
    142
    Likes Received:
    1
    Lost - You really should do a year and do a program where you are integrated with the British students as that is what makes going abraod memorable. Look for places that let you live with other students and where you are expected to take classes with other students. The course system is a lot different, but it is not necessarily more difficult. In fact, I was told before I left that Americans did just as well, if not better, when abraod as they did when home and I found this to be true for all of my friends. You just have to be willing to change how you go about your normal schoolwork.

    Also, I do know that Cambridge/Oxford will accept students (at least through school programs), but the ones that I knew who went were rather segregated from the British.

    Derby - Well, we were in pharm a together! I also took neuroscience, basics of immunology, and molecular medicine.

    Leorl - I am hoping to go back too and would give up anything to do another year abroad :)
     
  18. I can't think of a name

    I can't think of a name Senior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2001
    Messages:
    142
    Likes Received:
    1
    PS my experience was that you don't get your MCATs until you already are abroad, so that can't ruin your plans ;) (I took it in the summer as well)
     
    simplesloth likes this.

Share This Page