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Study And Enroll For British Master’s Program At American University For The summer

How to master Advanced, go on an exchange study and enroll in a British master’s program – this article and the personal impressions of Katya, a graduate of the University of St Andrews, are about this.

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I was born in the Far East, in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky. After school, I entered St. Petersburg State University (SPbSU) at the Faculty of International Relations, because I was always interested in the culture and characteristics of different countries of the world. I also wanted to combine the study of humanities with a business orientation.

Why is St. Petersburg so distant? I liked the atmosphere and architecture of St. Petersburg. In recent years at school, I dreamed of entering St. Petersburg State University and prepared diligently for the exams. I passed the Unified State Exam in Russian with 100 points, because I really wanted to enter the university of my dreams.

While studying at the university, I went to Summer Sessions at the University of California (UC Berkeley) for two years in a row, and I was also lucky to study for six months as an exchange student at the University of Barcelona. It was after these trips that I became inspired to get a master’s degree from the second best university in the UK.

How I learned English

My parents traveled a lot and took me with them, so I encountered a foreign language already in preschool age. At school I had an English tutor, with whom I studied twice a week. He helped not only to master the school curriculum, but also taught me to freely express my thoughts. Despite my interest in spoken English, I also studied grammar a lot.

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And, of course, there was some practice, namely trips to English-speaking countries. So, during my school years I went to summer language camps twice – to Brighton in England and New York in the USA. Immersion in the language environment gave a strong impetus to learning English and significantly improved my accent. In general, my level of English after these trips reached a confident B2 (Upper Intermediate).

At university I continued to study English, but this time more on my own. I watched TV series on Netflix and listened to American podcasts . It was these two sources that helped me get closer to the ideal American pronunciation, which I perfected in the USA.

After graduating from university, my level of English was C1 (Advanced), and many Americans said that it was even C2 (Proficiency) and I can consider myself bilingual (speaking two languages).

About studying at UC Berkeley

I always liked studying, so for two years in a row I stayed without vacation and went to Summer Sessions at UC Berkeley in California. Many US universities hold classes for students during the summer—summer sessions—which allows international students to get a glimpse of how the learning process works.

Summer Sessions are paid programs that provide an opportunity for international students to immerse themselves in the atmosphere of studying in the United States. To enroll in such a program, all you need is desire and a little opportunity.

For example, to enroll in a summer program at Berkeley, you need to submit an application, pay tuition and obtain a tourist visa. And voila! You are going to study at one of the best universities in America. Moreover, you will even have the opportunity to live on campus, as I did during my first year at Berkeley.

During my first trip, I took academic English classes—intensive classes five times a week throughout the summer. Plus there was a lot of practice. During this time, my English became as American as possible. And I also managed to achieve the perfect California accent. Nowadays Americans often ask what city in California I’m from 🙂

Main entrance to the University of Berkeley

After this experience, I decided to return to UC Berkeley, but to study Economics and Law (Law and Economics). In the summer before the final year of my bachelor’s degree, I still doubted what specialty I wanted to continue my master’s studies in. So I decided to try a new direction for myself. I not only gained a tremendous amount of knowledge on these topics, but also expanded my vocabulary with new vocabulary.

I advise everyone to attend Summer Sessions, meet new people and gain quality knowledge at the best foreign universities. Moreover, if in the future you are planning to study abroad, then there is a point in such a summer pastime – you will look at the learning process from the inside.

About exchange studies at the University of Barcelona

In the third year of my bachelor’s degree, I had the opportunity to go on an exchange trip to the University of Barcelona for six months under the Erasmus program. It involved full funding: not only the cost of training was covered, but also flights and accommodation in Barcelona.

To get there, you had to pass a competition. First, demonstrate excellent academic performance (high GPA and participation in a large number of scientific conferences). Secondly, excellent results in the English proficiency test. Thirdly, write a motivation letter in which you explain why you should take part in this program. I passed the competition.

I believe that being an exchange student is one of the best things a university can offer. This is both a chance to get acquainted with a new culture and an opportunity to study abroad without leaving your studies in your own country. It also makes it clear whether you really want to study abroad.

About admission to the master’s program at the University of St Andrews

In the last year of my bachelor’s degree, I already knew for sure that I wanted to get a master’s degree at a prestigious foreign university. My choice fell on the UK because I had already studied at an American university and wanted to see how higher education works in Foggy Albion.

Master’s degree in Scotland

After I reduced the list of universities to which I decided to send my application to 15 positions, I began to collect a complete package of documents. To enroll, I needed motivation letters , letters of recommendation , which I requested from my professors in the USA, Spain and Russia, as well as a transcript of current grades and TOEFL scores .

I started preparing for admission in September; all the preparation took about three months. I applied directly on university websites and ended up getting accepted into all 15 universities to which I sent my application.

Since I studied American English , I decided to take TOEFL rather than IELTS. This is possible if you are applying for a master’s program ( Note – usually for a bachelor’s degree in the UK you need to take IELTS ). I took the TOEFL in the spring, when I received an invitation from the university and definitely decided on the university where I would receive my master’s degree.

Already at the initial stage of applying, I identified two universities for myself: the University of St Andrews and University College London. When I received an invitation from all universities, I realized that now I had to make a difficult choice. The decisive factor was that I received a scholarship that covered half the cost of studying at the University of St Andrews. That’s how I ended up in Scotland, where I lived for a year and a half.

How to write a motivation letter for study: tips and examples

How to write a competent letter of recommendation

Preparing for TOEFL: exam structure, tips and common mistakes

About the difference between studying in the US and UK

I studied in four countries, so I can say that there is no such thing as a bad education, there are different approaches. But the education model either suits you or it doesn’t.

If we talk about education in the UK, here the quality of knowledge acquired is checked by writing an essay. As for the USA, the learning process there in many areas is more practice-oriented.

But in both cases, I really liked that already at the university they teach you to be a team player: you prepare projects in groups of four people, which improves qualities such as delegation and the ability to work in a team, which are very valuable at the stage of building a career.

Three tips for those who want to study abroad

  1. Study in a field that interests you and appeals to you. Don’t choose a specialty just because it’s prestigious and fashionable. You can become a professional in absolutely any industry. If your soul lies in biology, do not push away these thoughts and choose a direction in which biology will play an important role.
  1. Choose universities with an active student life and high student involvement in university events.
  1. Don’t be afraid to study abroad! It opens many doors. And do it realistically 🙂

Going to a foreign university is the dream of many. But few people believe that it is real and achievable. An individual consultation with LinguaTrip experts is an opportunity to receive a personal step-by-step plan for admission, which will help you not to get lost in the huge amount of available information, clearly plan your steps and reach your cherished goal.

Read student stories about applying and studying abroad to get inspired:

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