Life in Brighton and at the University of Sussex By Jimeace Bonaparte

Almost a month in the UK, and I absolutely love it. Choosing to study at the University of Sussex in Brighton, England, has been a wonderful experience so far. The first week of arrival was filled with amazing events, socializing, and meeting new people- no classes or coursework. I’ve also gotten to enjoy the rocky beach, and I honestly prefer it over sandy beaches. Furthermore, Brighton is known as one of the friendliest cities, and it lives up to its standards. I’m usually very introverted, never quick to make new friends or start up a conversation. But, it’s different in Brighton. I have found it impossible not to have a conversation with someone new no matter the occasion. Everyone has made me feel welcomed; never feeling left out or out of place.

Night out on the pier
Brighton Beach

After an amazing week of fun, I started classes on the 27th of September. The way of learning is quite different from what I’m accustomed to in South Carolina.  Here, education is 20% in-class learning and 80% independent learning/studying. The PowerPoints do not include all the necessary information; requiring attentiveness and building upon students’ ability to actively listen. There aren’t weekly quizzes or graded assessments. Your grade in the majority of the courses depends on one or two major assignments. A cumulative essay, project, or exam is likely to be the determining factor for passing or failing the course. The grading scale differs tremendously as well. Knowing 40% of the information is considered passing and 70% or higher is considered an A. 

Receiving a higher education abroad has further emphasized self-perseverance and balance as being two essential characteristics of a successful student. Of course, it’s essential no matter where one chooses to study, but Universities such as Sussex do not provide their students with many opportunities for improvement. Although learning differs, I appreciate the structure. It is a wonderful sneak peek of how medical school will operate, only less rigorous. 

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