Lili Brewin: Studying in the USA
I decided to take part in a study experience abroad because I have always been interested in seeing how the education system differs in America and in association with TV production, which is a large industry in both the UK and the US.
Since visiting Los Angeles in 2015 and looking around the Sony, Universal and Paramount studios, I was keen to return to study the production of television in a different surrounding to what I was used to in the UK. The US is similar to the UK in terms of the production of shows and content but on a bigger scale with higher investments, and I was keen to learn whether the teaching behind this industry would differ too.
Being exposed to a completely new education system enabled me to gain a lot more confidence. Living in another country for four months, away from the comforts of home, made me more confident and improved my communication and interpersonal skills. I have also gained a lot of friends whom I will have for life, not only from America but all over the world (including Japan, Taiwan, South Africa, and Venezuela). Meeting these people also gave me a better understanding of different cultures and lifestyles around the world.
Any student who is considering studying or working abroad should do their own research on the university best suited to their studies, ask questions to students who have gone through the process themselves, and make the most of the support provided at the home university as well as the host. I learned so much from the lecturers, students and the University campus as a whole in America and it’s an interesting talking point for job interviews, as employers like to see that you’ve done something out of your comfort zone and studied in another surrounding for a while.
During my time in America, I wanted to share my experience with other students at Salford and my family at home. Therefore, I decided to create a monthly video of my time in America, including the student experience and my travels (during Fall Break and Thanksgiving there is an opportunity to travel, in which I visited Chicago, Texas, and Atlanta). All together I uploaded 12 videos to my YouTube channel alongside my final Single Cam project for one of my courses whilst studying in America, which consists of a short documentary interviewing my fellow exchange students and American friends about studying abroad and how they have all been affected by the experience.