|OUTGOING STUDENT FEEDBACK FORM
University Attended: Emory University
What did this involve, how long did it last, was it useful?
For me, my induction / orientation process began as I stepped onto Atlanta ground. As soon as I arrived at the airport, someone from Emory was there to meet me. I was then picked up at the airport by the exchange co-ordinator for Emory University – Valerie Molyneaux. Orientation was one week. Within this week, we had to attend a few important meetings regarding our visas and other things. In this week, the exchange co-ordinator also took all the exchange students to a baseball match which was great. It was useful to have the first few days off without classes as you will need those days to sort things such as a phone, internet, bank account out. Also, it’s great meeting all the exchange students. You end up starting classes mid week of orientation week so everything generally starts to fall into place relatively quickly.
Style of teaching, courses, ease of access to courses, methods of assessment, teaching support
The whole University system in America was quite different to England’s University system. The lectures at Emory were a lot smaller compared to most of MBS’s lectures. The lecturers tend to know you a bit more as a result of this which I personally think is a good thing.
In terms of methods of assessment, they are generally broken up into a lot of various assessments. For instance, you may have essays, presentations, midterm exam, exam at the end of the semester. This obviously varies according to the module you choose. However, having one exam or one piece of coursework for a module is very rare at Emory and I’m sure at most American Universities. Most American students were shocked when I told them that modules in Manchester usually had either one exam or a piece of coursework or a combination of both but that’s it. They thought this was too much risk in just one or two pieces of assessment. Therefore, at Emory (and probably with most American Universities), you do get a lot of assessments. For instance, one essay may just be worth 5% and you may have to do a few essays and then may have an exam at the end as well or even a presentation. Assessments are generally broken down into smaller percentages unlike Manchester.
It is also very easy to access course materials etc. The business library there is also fairly good. Didn’t ever need to take out a book there though. Didn’t spend a massive amount of my time with academia, as I was too busy having fun! And trust me, you have A LOT of fun whilst there, so I wouldn’t worry too much about getting really good grades because you simply need a pass, which in the business school at Emory is very easy! Even if your work is crap, but you’ve attempted it and handed your assessments in, you’re pretty much bound to pass. Oh and also, the business school at Emory is graded on a curve. This means that the grade you get is influenced and is relative to the grade of other students. So there are a certain percentage of students that they give A’s to etc. They don’t generally fail people in the business school at Emory though, unless you haven’t ever turned up or handed in anything. In many of the modules, especially marketing, operations and management ones, there’ll be a participation grade. This I guess forces you to read up on the stuff beforehand, as quite a few lecturers may cold call in classes. It’s not that bad though!
MBS INTERNATIONAL OFFICE
Level of support, additional information that could have been useful
The MBS international office is very enthusiastic and very helpful in finding you the right place to go for you. They did everything else that they were required to do.
MBS SECOND YEAR MEETINGS
Any additional information that you feel could have been provided
The best part of the meetings for me was that I got to meet previous students who went to the University that I went to. This way, I managed to get a lot of advice from these former students who were actually a great deal of help. If you do decide to go to Emory (which I HIGHLY recommend), then I am more than willing to help you out on anything, even if it is simply choosing modules, etc.
HOST INTERNATIONAL OFFICE
Level of support, additional information that could be useful for future students
The host international office were also great support. After orientation, I didn’t see that much of them, however, didn’t really need to. They were always there if I needed them for anything, which was great. Very easy to get in contact to, if needed. Valerie Molyneaux (the exchange co-ordinator for Emory) is great help.
INSURANCE, HEALTH COVER
Please include any information relating to the purchase of compulsory health insurance i.e. costs etc. or whether this was waived by having the University of Manchester Insurance Policy
At Emory, you are required to get additional insurance, as the University of Manchester Insurance Policy is not enough. Emory will ask you to sign up to their insurance (which is very expensive – over a $1000 for the academic year) – don’t bother! You can get your own insurance from a company for a lot cheaper. In fact, here is the website that I got my insurance from, it’s MUCH cheaper - http://www.isoa.org/compass_main.aspx
INFORMATION ON ANY ADDITIONAL COSTS
This should be information on any extra fees that the University charged but should not include accommodation, books, transport, visa etc.
The only other additional costs that Emory will charge you for is their sports centre. It’s just over $200 or so. You have to pay this fee as well, can’t get out of it am afraid. But, having paid this, you are able to use any of their sports facilities, including the gym. Their sports centre is huge and has a lot!
As much information as possible on what accommodation is recommended or not recommended.
Emory University should sort you out with accommodation. The main places they will put exchange students is either in dorms (halls), clairmont campus, clairmont reserve or Highland Lake. Clairmont campus is part of the Emory campus and has apartments there. You can get the shuttle bus from there to the main campus which takes 5 mins on the bus to get to. To walk from there to the business school (main campus) only takes about 20 mins max. Clairmont reserve and Highland Lake are both apartments which are not on campus, but not very far from Clairmont campus (where you get the shuttle bus from). I stayed in Highland Lake apartments, which is a 10 min walk from Clairmont campus. I absolutely loved my apartment in Highland Lake. I personally thought that these apartments were nicer and slightly bigger than the apartments on Clairmont Campus. And they were only a 10 minute walk from the shuttle bus anyway, so wasn’t much hassle. Either way, they’re all great places to live anyway. The apartment complexes have a swimming pool too!
DESTINATION INFORMATION AND OVERALL EXPERIENCE
Transport, travel, social life, integration with local students, student activity groups
Transport in Atlanta wasn’t the best! They have what’s called the MARTA. It’s a bus and underground service. It’s not the most efficient of transportation. But, in all fairness, you won’t really need to use it much. The only time you’ll want to use it is if you’re going downtown, or to the mall. But you don’t really need to go downtown Atlanta that much, just a couple of times to see the place and the main attractions there (Coca Cola World, CNN building, Biggest Aquarium, Martin Luther King Memorial). Other than that you’ll never really need to go Downtown Atlanta. Most of your time should be spent on campus, in your apartments, at Maggies (the most popular bar for students), clubs, and steak and shake (THE BEST fast food after a night out ever!!!) no joke! If you go, please bring me back a double steak burger with cheese and fries! (It should only be $4.27 with tax, unless inflation has changed!) Say hi to Charlie there for me too would ya! Cheers!
In terms of social life, it’s great! Although partying in Atlanta (and most probably in most parts of America) is slightly different to Manchester. Manchester has a lot of clubs and very big student night life. America’s parties are more house/flat parties. These are great fun usually though. Maggies is the main student bar, which EVERYONE from Emory seems to go to. Not the nicest of bars, but everyone always ends up there. You’ll have a great time in Maggies. Us as exchange students also went to a few clubs including: Opera, Havana, Tongue and Groove. There are also fraternities which throw parties all the time. They are based on the campus.
In terms of travelling, I tried to go to as many of the main places as I could, and I feel like I covered quite a lot. In the academic year, I managed to go to Miami, New Orleans, Chicago, Boston, New York, San Francisco, Cancun, Las Vegas, Philadelphia, Maryland and Washington DC. I did a lot because I really wanted to see a lot of America. But if travelling aint your thing, then don’t bother. Otherwise, try and hit up as many places as you can, they’re all fantastic! San Francisco was probably my favourite! Take advantage of your Christmas holidays because you won’t have any exams straight after which means no revision or coursework over xmas hols. Don’t bother going home to visit family, travel around instead!
In terms of meeting local students, well you get to meet a lot of American students in classes. However, I thought it was quite difficult becoming friends with a lot of the American students through my classes. Therefore I joined the business fraternity called Alpha Kappa Psi, where I met loads of students who I became very good friends with. And in terms of exchange students, they’re like your family! You become very good friends with them. When I was going to America, I was worried that I would get stuck with all the exchange students and make no American friends. Well, to be honest, you do end up getting stuck with the exchange students a lot. However, this was probably the biggest highlight of my entire journey in America. I became such good friends with most of them. And to be honest, you want to become good friends with them too, because everyone was just simply amazing and soo much fun! Most of them are in the same boat as you and want to do the same things as you so it’s great! But don’t be afraid to go and make American friends too, I learnt a lot about their culture from making friends with them. And besides, they absolutely LOVE the British accent. They’ll probably mock it a lot – don’t be offended though, it’s their way of being friendly! Works wonders, even got me some free meals now and then!
DESCRIBE IN ONE SENTENCE YOUR YEAR ABROAD
The best year of my life so far – wish I could go back and do it all over again!