Profile: Vy Phan '23
Major/minor: History, Business, Art History
Study abroad program: King's College London (Arcadia), Fall 2022Reason you chose this program: I love museums and knew there were many great museums in London. I also wanted to explore itsr education system to consider my graduate school options for history and art, and I wanted to try attending classes and living in a big city.
Favorite classes: My favorite class was Issues in the Creative Industries. We were encouraged to read the news to keep up and write about real problems in the UK's creative industry. It was interesting because it was the most practical class I have ever taken.
Housing situation: I lived in the King's College London's student accommodation. The university has several campuses across the city, and I lived in a dorm next to their Guy's Campus, very close to the London Bridge. It was more convenient to live in the dorm since I only spent a semester there. My dorm was older, but it was not expensive and was close to facilities like a library. We did not have a dining hall and had to cook for ourselves.
What were some parts of your identity that you thought about while considering study abroad that other students may want to talk to you about? London is extremely diverse, at least in my experience while taking classes and living in Zone 1, the central Zone of London. Everywhere you go, you can hear different languages. I did not feel out of place if I spoke in another language other than English, which is generally not the case in the U.S.Since students only come to campus for classes (or club meetings), there is less of a sense of community. There are many ways to make friends, but they require more initiative than what friendships at a smaller campus like Brandeis require. If you struggle to spend time alone, this may be difficult for you. At the same time, those who want more independence and responsibility could get a taste of it since you have to do everything for yourself in a big city.
Favorite memory: I miss the time spent with my study abroad friends, my view of the Tower Bridge on my way to school every day, and my nine-day trip to Scotland over the reading week.
Greatest challenge: For KCL, the final exam or assignment often is worth 100% of the course's grades. Completing work was stressful because I was not used to this.
Did you apply for any scholarships? If so, which ones and how did they impact your time abroad? I applied for the Brandeis Sachar Scholarship and a scholarship affiliated with Arcadia University through which I applied to KCL. The scholarships helped me travel and see more of the UK in the short time I was there.
Fact about London that you think people would be surprised to learn: All of the museums in London (and other places in the UK) are free for all.
“My favorite class was called Issues in the Creative Industries. We were encouraged to read the news to keep up and write about real problems in the UK's creative industry. It was interesting because it was the most practical class I have ever taken.”
Vy Phan '23