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Scholarship Testimonials

  • Alexander Pluke

    Alexander Pluke

    from The University of Durham who studied at The University of British Columbia in 2010

    Despite what´s been said, a year abroad is hardly an easy ride - it´s more akin to riding wild on horseback than a gentle trot in the pasture. I know which I´d pick any day.

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    Pushing yourself to the edge in attaining new experiences, finding new and vibrant pathways for development and constant avenues for adventure, is for me the most vital component of life. If you take the difficult choices, and revel in the excitement of successful discovery, then the opportunities available to the exchange student are manifold.

    While academics have their place, the true wealth to be found in a year abroad consists in reaching out and tasting all those exciting things that you almost did but told yourself “Not quite yet, I´ll try that later, when I get some time.. definitely.”

    So if you do go and study abroad, make sure you know that it´ll be difficult. But it will quite probably also be fantastically exhilarating, and even (dare I say) life-changing.
  • Alphonse Tam

    Alphonse Tam

    from Goldsmiths College who studied at the University of Pennsylvania in 2010

    While I have done a fair amount of traveling throughout the US, I never thought I would have a chance to do much traveling in Europe at this point in my life, due to various academic and financial reasons.

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    Through my school´s study abroad program, however, I found a way to incorporate my schoolwork and financial aid to really make this opportunity feasible.

    Studying abroad in London this semester has given me the chance to explore places and meet people I never thought I would. People have frequently advised me to “see the world” while I was still young and in school since life after graduation carries with it certain limitations, and I am certainly glad I got this chance while still at university. Since I am studying Urban Studies and International Relations, London really exposed me to the best of both fields.

    As a city, it is steeped in a history and a culture that has given me a new outlook on urban planning and development. Through my classes and the students I´ve met, I´ve also gained a new outlook on socio-economic and political issues that, at one point, I only understood through American notions. My time abroad has really given me a dynamic perspective on the world outside of the US, one that I could never hoped to have gained from the chapters of a textbook.
  • Amie Gagnon

    Amie Gagnon

    from Keene State College who studied at York St John University in 2011

    The benefits of studying abroad…I don’t know if I can list all of them! Seeing the world is one of the biggest…I can’t even describe how amazing that is.

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    To look at something that you’ve only seen in pictures with your own eyes…it’s great. But that’s obviously not the only thing! Seeing and learning the differences in culture, even if they’re miniscule. Like how differently classes are run in the UK compared to the USA. It’s just a learning experience all around, I can’t emphasize enough. And when you’re not putting off your studies travelling, you’re meeting new people, doing new things. Coming out of your shell, if you’re in one, and making friends from around the world. It’s an opportunity that everyone should take, if they can. And if they can’t, maybe it’s something they could strive for. Because I can’t say there’s anything like it. Sure, you can travel when you’re older, go on a vacation. But that will be a week, maybe a month if you’re really, really lucky. Or you could get a job where you go around, there’s a good chance you’ll be in meetings, watching the world through your board room or hotel window. But three months, six months, a year, being thrown right in the thick of it…there’s absolutely nothing like it.
  • Amy Thompson

    Amy Thompson

    from The University of Leeds who studied at Brock University, Canada in 2014

    Studying abroad is a fantastic opportunity for any student. You have the chance to learn about new cultures from the inside.

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    You are able to easily try new things, such as different foods and unusual activities! You could go home with a completely new love of a sport or an activity. You will gain independence, the ability to use initiative, and will be able to push yourself to do things you would not think you were capable of! Plus when will you get the chance to spend a year seeing some of the amazing things around the world again?
  • Andrew Farmer

    Andrew Farmer

    from Keele University who studied at The University of British Columbia in 2008

    Studying abroad in the US has been fantastic and one of the most worthwhile experiences I have had. As well as the academic benefits and invaluable insight I have gained into university life in another culture, it has given me the chance to learn so much about myself by observing how I´ve coped with adapting to life in completely unfamiliar surroundings.

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    I have made friends with students from many other nationalities and backgrounds which has allowed me to understand and appreciate our similarities and differences much better. While studying abroad I have also had the opportunity to travel to a number of beautiful and interesting places.

    I would certainly recommend studying abroad to anyone lucky enough to have the chance.
  • Angela Bouton

    Angela Bouton

    From Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, USA who studied at University College London

    I cannot even being to explain how amazing my time abroad was. I learned so much about the city I was able to call home, the new and interesting people around me, and myself as an independent adult.

    On a daily basis, I loved to just

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    walk around London, finding new coffee shops, wandering down to Buckingham Palace, or exploring the striking street art. The history is so rich in the city, that I found myself constantly occupied with visiting the many museums or just admiring the beautiful architecture around me. I never tired of strolling through the streets that soon became familiar to me.

    Aside from the plethora of interesting stories I have acquired during my six months abroad, I have made lasting friendships with people all over the world. Through this, and my ability to travel outside of England, I have gained invaluable insight into the many peoples and cultures of the world.

    Being abroad, I was thrown into new and sometimes challenging situations. Whether it was opening a British bank account, learning how to use the proper citations for essays, or getting X-rays of a sprained ankle; I learned that I am able to handle tedious situations on my own. Studying abroad allowed me to realize that being an independent adult will be hard at times, but nothing I cannot handle!

    Studying abroad was the greatest experience of my life! I have always dreamed of studying in England but never thought it was possible, until last year. Anyone who is considering an opportunity like mine, should go for it without a second thought!

  • Angela McMahon

    Angela McMahon

    This semester abroad has been one of the most enriching and worthwhile experiences that I’ve ever had,

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    and I am so fond of London and of this University for teaching me more things than I can count. When I flew out of Melbourne, I knew I was going to be living in a beautiful city, meeting interesting people and studying things that I loved. What I wasn’t quite prepared for was the chaos that comes with supporting yourself in a new city, when everyone that you know is far away from you, and everything that you know about yourself is challenged. I have met so many fascinating people, learnt so much from passionate teachers, and seen more beautiful and eye-opening things than I would ever have seen if I had stayed in my own city.
    I have fallen in love with the diversity and the vivid life of London, and I’ve been able to call this city my home. I’ve lived with eight brilliant students in our on-campus flat, and I’ve been able to call them my family. To my experience here, I owe my growing independence and confidence, and so many valuable lessons that I know will help shape the rest of my life.
    When I arrived in London, I soon realized how terrified I was, but my only option was to dive in. Now, I can walk around the city knowing exactly where I am, I can make a week’s worth of meals from a quick Sainsbury’s visit, write an essay on Medieval Islam, easily jump on a train to Paris, know exactly where to buy cheap vintage clothes in Brick Lane, rinse the ink stains out of my ruined laundry, understand cultures I knew nothing about, and call my American or British friends when I’m coming to town for a visit. I’ve spent 8 weeks living at Queen Mary, and I’ve got 4 weeks to go. When the semester finishes, I\\\\\\\'m jumping on a train to spend 2 more months travelling Europe, and I\\\\\\\'m so grateful that I have the BUTEX scholarship to help me fund more adventures! I know that whatever other obstacles I’m about to face, I’m very lucky to be facing them, and I\\\\\\\'m going to make sure that lesson sticks with me.
  • Anthony Thornton

    Anthony Thornton

    Choosing to study abroad has definitely been one of the best decisions I have made whilst at university. The past few months in Southern California have been some of the best in my life

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    and being able to live and study here has given me the chance to experience so many new things, create invaluable friendships and obtain a fresh perspective on my time at university.
    Going to study in a different country is not all plain sailing and there have of course been difficulties and challenges that come with adjusting to a completely different education system however each of these have been a genuine learning opportunity and a chance to grow as a person.
    Ultimately, immersing myself in a new culture, landscape and lifestyle has not only been the experience of a lifetime but has also given renewed focus and direction to my university career.
  • Ben Darrah-Morgan

    Ben Darrah-Morgan

    from The University of Sussex who studied at International Christian University, Japan in 2013

    I applied for a Butex scholarship in May – knowing that even after cashing in a bond left by my great-grandmother, my last financial fall-back, I wouldn’t really be able to afford Tokyo’s prohibitive living costs – and fervently hoped that I would get it.

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    To my delight, I received an email two weeks ago saying that I had been successful. This scholarship affords me the chance to travel around doing research for my thesis after the autumn term ends (I am staying on an extra month in the country, examining changing public perceptions of nuclear power in the wake of Fukushima). It will also allow me to explore the country’s interior a little in my remaining free time, and I plan to take a cheap internal flight north to snow-bound Hokkaido with a friend in December and then hitchhike back down Japan’s spine to Tokyo.

    In the meantime, I have settled into a comfortable rhythm. Along with another Sussex student, I recently moved out of an Americanised campus dormitory. We now live in a cutesy Japanese house with wooden beams, tatami matting and paper blinds, in the affluent suburb of Kunitachi – slightly reminiscent of an oriental Kensington – and commute the six miles to ICU daily by bicycle and metro. The workload is fairly heavy, but our weekends are left free to explore the city by day and enjoy downtown Shibuya’s nightlife, which lives up to all expectations.

    I would urge all aspiring Study Abroad students to apply for scholarships from institutions such as Butex: there is a tendency to consider such opportunities and then not act on them, or to dismiss them as being unlikely to pay off. However, being proactive could massively ease your financial burden later and allow you to use your time fruitfully. For a start, you can bank on the apathy of others – at least taking the time to look into possible sources of help gives you a chance! Having committed to the daunting prospect of a term or year abroad, the difficult part is already out of the way. A little extra input can help you to make the most out of your experience.

  • Bethany Doss

    Bethany Doss

    from Colorado State University who studied at Swansea University in 2009

    Studying abroad allows one to see beyond oneself - into the views of others, through different ways of looking at the same issue, around new customs, and under new skies.

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    But most importantly, it repositions one´s culture and oneself as one in a world of millions, rather than the center of the millions, compelling one to achieve and do the best so that eventually a small, positive impact can be made.
  • Bibi Letts

    Bibi Letts

    Studying abroad is like nothing else. Its something you have to jump into feet first!

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    You get the most out of it if you read up on a country\'s history, culture, and learn to speak even a little bit of the language, but even if you do none of these, you will still come across some of the most amazing food, places, experiences and (most importantly for me!) people. Unlike being a tourist though, you have the chance to gain a much better understanding of all these, to make connections over weeks or months, get to know locals, regularly visit markets and walk streets of a new town or city or countryside. And of course, you learn a lot about yourself by being in a situation you\'ve never been before. I highly recommend the experience to anyone!
  • Brittany Legg

    Brittany Legg

    from The University of Texas who studied at Keele University in 2011

    My experience abroad... how can I even express my feelings in a simple paragraph? I guess I\'ll do my best. Studying in England at Keele University has been the experience of a lifetime.

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    The chance to study abroad is something that I feel each and every student should experience at least once in their life. The rewards are outstanding-- unforgettable experiences, invaluable friendships, and the opportunity to encounter the world as you may never have dreamed. The time I have spent in England has been the best experience I have ever had up until now. Not only have I had fun, I have also learned so much during my time abroad-- and I have learned so much outside of school, as well. Since I have been at Keele, I have learned so much about who I am and where I come from, as well as about the rest of the world (and the UK) by meeting new people and various other cultural experiences. Seeing the UK and the rest of the world through the view of a completely different education system has also been a most pleasurable experience. There is nothing like spending an entire scholastic year in another country to really integrate yourself into a new culture and discover new things. As I said before, it is the experience of a lifetime... and I would not have changed a thing!
  • Cat Van Dort

    Cat Van Dort

    from The University of Kent who studied at Indiana University in Bloomington in 2008

    After spending 3 months working with children in Romania during my GAP year I was just waiting for the next opportunity to live abroad.

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    While in America, where I studied Drama and Theatre, I landed myself a role in a main-stage show, co-founded my own improvised theatre company Blisstearing Perspective and was taught acting, stage combat and playwriting skills from some of the most enthusiastic and inspirational teachers I have ever come across in my life.

    I whole-heartedly encourage every student to study abroad.
  • Cerys Mather

    Cerys Mather

    from The University of Edinburgh who studied at The University of Washington, USA in 2013

    Some benefits of studying in the USA I had anticipated. For example, I expected to meet lots of interesting and diverse people, I knew that I would be faced with the flexibility of a liberal arts program and I had my suspicions that pastries were going to be twice the size of ours in the UK! However, the most exciting things that I have been involved in over here completely took me by surprise

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    and have enabled me to contribute to things that I never thought possible.

    America truly lives up to the “land of opportunity” myth, and through the University of Washington I have been given the chance to try out so many exciting things. As a student of literature, it’s been fascinating for me to see how different the degree structure really is. There are fewer courses offered on older literature (pre-1750), whereas, contemporary fiction and emerging forms of literature dominate the time schedule. It has been so exciting to broaden my academic horizons by studying some unusual things as fairy tales, Mongolian folk stories, film noir, LGBT cinema and more! It has been fun grappling with smaller differences in academic disciplines as well. I still have to remind myself about Americanized spellings, page counts for essays instead of word counts, and the large part of your grade which is for participation in class. I had to get a lot more talkative very quickly in order to make my grades! Furthermore, the UW offers free classes in lots of different IT programs, from basics like Excel to more complex graphic design programs, and to have access to this sort of training has been invaluable when applying for jobs and internships. Furthermore, the job market is doing well in Seattle, and as such, there are so many intern positions available for students to get practical experience in the workplace. I have been working with a non-profit which provides life services for people with disabilities and I could not be more proud of what the organization achieves. It’s an honour to be able to contribute to their work, and I’m made even more grateful because I struggled to find such a worthwhile opportunity at home.

    In terms of the city itself, I could not have fallen deeper in love with Seattle! It’s perfectly suited to the cultural things that I enjoy, with its thriving film and literary scene, its coffee shop culture, excellent food and live music. Studying abroad really does make you feel as though you are having a year of holiday. Even though you are working hard, spending weekends exploring a new city and learning about a different culture is so liberating and exhilarating. Writing an essay in a café which overlooks the space needle makes the work feel like much less of a chore. I also really cannot stress how much tastier the food is over here! It’s hard not to eat out at every meal when there are so many cuisines to try; I had my first ever Ethiopian meal this week and adored it! Being away from the UK really makes you realise which things from home you rely on. I haven’t missed many things, except for proper tea bags, decent biscuits (cookies are not the same!) and the baffling way that bacon here must be crispy.

    The aspect of studying abroad which has taken me by surprise is how different American culture is to ours in the UK. This might sound as though I am stating the obvious; however, I think that because we speak the same language we make many assumptions about our similarities. I have found, for example, that people think I am overly polite and that I apologise and thank people far too often. I also found it difficult at first to really understand school spirit. People are so proud of their institution and their sports team. I felt like a traitor to the University of Edinburgh, but there was no way I could get away with avoiding shouting “Go Huskies” on game day without attracting negative attention. Lastly, my sarcasm is often misunderstood here! I have learned to avoid it in general, along with my dry sense of humour. People have been offended by misinterpreting my tone of voice, and I very quickly learned that it was worth dropping this style of wit; it’s too risky!

    It’s really energising to deal with new people and a different lifestyle. Studying abroad has motivated me in lots of ways; having dipped my toe in living outside of the UK has given me itchy feet. I want to travel all over and immerse myself in as many different cultures as possible. I’m very grateful that I have been allowed to come to Seattle for a year, and I can’t thank BUTEX enough for facilitating this trip for me. Along with all the unknowns of studying abroad, come a lot of costs you never thought of before; BUTEX has helped reduce a few of the stresses and worries of traipsing across the Atlantic for a year. In summary: study abroad, everyone!
  • Chelsea Sutherland

    Chelsea Sutherland

    from Pennsylvania State University who studied at The University of Leeds in 2008

    When I made the decision to study abroad over a year ago, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. Even on the flight over, I was unsure about what I would get out of this experience. I knew nothing about living and studying anywhere but home in Pennsylvania.

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    I have never ventured further than 300 miles away for anything longer than two weeks. It soon became apparent, however, what I would gain from my time here.

    Personal growth began the moment I said goodbye to my parents in the airport. Experiences with different cultures, an entirely new university system, English banks, and technology failures have all made me more tolerant, more flexible, and more comfortable with and aware of myself. I have never had to be so independent, confident, or laid back.

    Friend making began as early as the flight into Leeds. By two weeks into the program, I had met a hundred international students and made a dozen good friends, many of whom I am sure I will keep in touch with for the rest of my life.

    Because of this program, I have grown in many ways, I have invitations to visit all over the world, and I now know what it is like to live, play, and study over 3,000 miles away from home.
  • Daniel Rothberg

    Daniel Rothberg

    from The University of Manchester who studied at The University of Maryland in 2009

    The advantages of studying in the United States are as varied as the country and the people. Studying in the USA takes you to the very heart of a nation whose actions and culture shape our own.

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    By studying abroad in America you have all the advantages of living in another culture; a different history, food and  lifestyle with the ‘safety net’ of speaking in English allowing you to interact with the local people to an extent that you can even be considered ‘one of them’.

    Over my time in America I have learnt an incredible amount that will benefit me personally, professionally and academically as well as having taught me to appreciate things much closer to home.

    I have undoubtedly learnt much that will help me with my course, but it will be the other skills I have accumulated that I am most proud of; fishing in the Chesapeake Bay to skiing in Upstate New York to throwing an American football. My time in America has taken me from the rugged Appalachian Mountains to volunteering in the Gulf of Mexico to the halls of power in the US Capitol.

    These experiences are just a handful of many that have shaped my time here.
    Living in another continent takes you out of your comfort zone it teaches you skills that you can only learn by challenging yourself.

    Ultimately, studying in America gives you opportunities that you could not get elsewhere, for exchange students at least America remains the land of opportunity.
  • Devin Pascoe

    Devin Pascoe

    from The University of South Carolina who studied at The University of Brighton in 2012

    Spending a semester in Brighton, England was the most thrilling, challenging, and interesting thing I´ve ever done with three months, and that will probably remain true for the rest of my life.

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    Studying abroad is an experience I will never have the opportunity to do again, and I´m so glad that I seized the moment when it was offered to me. While there were certainly moments of frustration from living in a new place and not understanding cultural differences, and occasional bouts of homesickness, the experience will always remain one of the best learning experiences I could have. I met one of my most genuine and likeminded friends while abroad, a person I never would have met otherwise. I found myself and my values through the challenges I faced, and I now return home with a better understanding of who I am as a person and what is important to me. While that may sound like the most cliche statement ever about studying abroad, it´s true to such an extent that it surprised even me once I realized it.
  • Dylan Gillah

    Dylan Gillah

    Studying abroad is the adventure you long for, at the perfect point in your life. Chicago was an impressive experience, which introduced me to a wealth of new culture - such as Chance the Rapper, the hip-hop music scene, urban university life, and a film scene surrounded by self-sufficient students who genuinely want to progress and achieve within their field, and even within others.

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    Improv has now given me more adoration for the comedy schools and people that work hard to make people laugh - I was surrounded by these people in my accommodation for the 4 months I stayed, and I genuinely wouldn’t have opted for anyone else, especially my highly entertaining room-mate.

    Experiencing a film degree in America was one of the best parts. However, even just the experience gave me this sense of euphoria, let alone the potential. The team-work drove everyone to their personal best, and it was fantastically diverse with a mixture of American and Chinese students. People wanted to learn - these were the people who would succeed. Meeting Producers gave me an unlikely but pleasantly surprising look into what often drives these people (often academics) into such a creative field, and invest time and money into helping these creatives reach their zenith.

    Butex was what made this worth it. Studying abroad is one aspect, but what makes the experience whole and imprinted into your memory are often the moments outside of class. Watching Improvised Shakespeare at the IO (Improv Olympics), taking part in Escape Games, visiting Zoos that are often far larger than those in England and embellished with rich exhibits. All in all, Student Finance helped me live comfortably, Butex made the experience unforgettable.
  • Ellen MacAskill

    Ellen MacAskill

    from The University of Glasgow who will be studying at Queen's University, Canada

    You won’t regret studying abroad. One academic year in Canada has probably included more exciting experiences than my whole previous life put together.

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    It has taken me from the vibrant campus town of Kingston on Lake Ontario; to finding new friends in Toronto and Montreal; to attending environmentalist marches with thousands of other in New York City and Quebec; to exploring Havana in Cuba; from minus thirty to positive thirty temperatures. I am now preparing to spend summer travelling to the West of Canada to hike and work on farms, before returning to Scotland and falling back down to Earth. Dedicating time to travelling at weekends has improved my time management for school work, so my grades have improved, contrary to what I was expecting. Exchange has taught me so much and given me the travel bug for life. The fact that organisations like BUTEX offer to help students fund such life-enhancing experiences goes to show how important it is to take the opportunity while it is there.
  • Ellen Turner

    Ellen Turner

    from The University of Toronto who studied at The University of Glasgow in 2010

    Studying abroad is an experience filled with countless incredible opportunities. Studying in another country has its obstacles; living away from family and friends and out of your comfort zone is by no means a trivial undertaking, but it is often the experiences that are the most challenging that end up being the most rewarding.

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    The benefits I have personally gained from my study abroad experience extend further than I could ever have imagined. You are given the opportunity to appreciate a different culture and make friends from all over the world. It truly gives you a sense of your place in the world community. You are able to gain a fresh perspective on your life and your degree, something that is simply not possible in a classroom.

    It is a chance to try new things, take risks and surprise yourself; the kind of experiences that build independence and confidence. Not least of all, it speaks to your character.

    Whether in a job interview or meeting new people, you will find that many are interested and impressed with someone who has shown the commitment, organization and courage to study abroad.
  • Emma Plant

    Emma Plant

    Studying abroad is a fantastic opportunity really unlike any other with innumerable opportunities to learn and discover more about yourself and the world around you.

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    Studying at a new institution is a great chance to develop academically but studying abroad also gives you the chance to become more confident and independent in other aspects of your life too - not to mention the fantastic opportunity to travel and see amazing new parts of the world!I couldn\'t be more grateful to the BUTEX Scholarship for helping make this a reality for me!
  • Gabriel Tarriba Martinez Lopez

    Gabriel Tarriba Martinez Lopez

    from The University of Pennsylvania who studied at The University of Warwick in 2008

    The best thing about studying abroad is realizing how adaptive and resilient humans can be, faced with challenges and new circumstances: we arrived in a different country where we had to find our own way, from square one: find new friends, find out how things work, and integrate into a different academic system.

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    Somehow, we managed to do that quite well. In the process, we have strengthened skills that will be essential in our personal and professional life: the ability to understand dynamic and complex scenarios and make good decisions at the same time.

    Undoubtedly, for a student abroad most of the learning does not originate in academic subjects but from the need to quickly grasp, and make sense of, our new day-to-day reality.
  • Georgina Whitham

    Georgina Whitham

    from The University of Leeds who studied at The University of California (San Diego) in 2008

    Studying abroad in the US has been fantastic and one of the most worthwhile experiences I have had.

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    As well as the academic benefits and invaluable insight I have gained into university life in another culture, it has given me the chance to learn so much about myself by observing how I’ve coped with adapting to life in completely unfamiliar surroundings. I have made friends with students from many other nationalities and backgrounds which has allowed me to understand and appreciate our similarities and differences much better. While studying abroad I have also had the opportunity to travel to a number of beautiful and interesting places. I would certainly recommend studying abroad to anyone lucky enough to have the chance.
  • Hannah Guerrier

    Hannah Guerrier

    from Duke University who studied at The University of Glasgow in 2008

    My time in the UK… where do I begin? It was absolutely brilliant. From trying the Scotland’s national soft drink Irn Bru to attending rugby and football games with diehard fans, I’ve thoroughly attempted to immerse myself in the culture here in Scotland and in the greater UK.

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    Although the most photogenic memories have come from toting from castle to castle, it’s in the everyday things that I’ve learned the most.

    Through studying abroad at Glasgow University, I had the opportunity to live with and develop friendships with many students from the UK and Ireland.

    While it was a challenge at first understanding the different accents, from Glaswegian to Irish, these friendships flourished as we got to know one another, often around the kitchen table. It is through these friendships that I was exposed to many Scottish and British traditions, terminologies and foods. My favorite, by far, is British tea with digestive cookies. :) Studying abroad, while giving me the rare opportunity to meet people half a world away from my home, additionally gave me the chance to travel.

    During my time in Glasgow, I took the weekends to utilize the extensive rail system and visit some of the most beautiful places in the world. From being in awe of the rainbows at the Isle of Skye to searching for Nessie at Loch Ness to seeing the Sound of Music in London´s West End, the UK provided endless places to explore.

    Additionally, both living and traveling within the UK gave me a greater appreciation for the differences in government policies and politics, from the National Healthcare Service to the recently privatized railway system.

    As a public policy student, these issues interest me greatly and combining my courses on both British and European Union politics with day-to-day experiences gave me a better understanding on how the seemingly similar cultures and policies of the USA and the UK differ substantially.

    In all, this scholarship has allowed me to explore that much more of the UK and the world – from the traditional pub meal of fish & chips to the crags on the Isle of Skye – and for that I’m eternally thankful.
  • Jack Allen

    Jack Allen

    from The University of Manchester who will be studying at University of Toronto, Canada

    Studying abroad has been one the best experiences of my life, and surpassed all expectations. I arrived in a country that I had never visited before, and one where I didn’t know a single person. Four months later I was saying heartfelt good-byes to friends from all over the world, hoping to keep in touch and meet up soon.

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    Whilst the four month journey was somewhat of an emotional rollercoaster, with highs such as being in New York in reading week, and lows such as extreme homesickness at times, I feel that I have made myself stronger for the future. I have developed personal skills such as networking and confidence, and employability skills such as cultural integration and independence. Studying abroad is somewhat of a strange bubble – free from the complexities and responsibilities of life at home to simply enjoy 4 months in another country: exploring, making friends, travelling, integrating, and, of course, studying! If I could give one piece of advice to a student going abroad, it would be to over budget and leave some room left for travelling at the end. This was something that I didn’t do, and in the end I had to leave my friends in the airport to fly home, whereas they were embarking on further travelling to Calgary, the Rockies and Vancouver. Nonetheless, I wouldn’t change my experience for anything and I am truly thankful to the University of Manchester for allowing me to study abroad, and to BUTEX for their support. I thoroughly enjoyed my experience abroad, and if possible I would go back for another semester next year!
  • Jason Williams

    Jason Williams

    from Bangor University who studied at Dalhousie University, Canada in 2014

    Exploration is one of the greatest benefits of travelling abroad, not only do you get to see a part of the world, you get to live in it. Experience it, share it with new people,

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    learn and make cherished memories. It’s not so much about the education or work, it’s about learning something new about who you are by pushing yourself into the unknown. My time abroad has been reflective, since I have been here I have noticed the change in myself and how my world is opening up on different levels. My new friend commented on me saying, you are in a transformation stage, and it is exactly how I feel. I started of being the same person I have always been when I got here, and slowly my ways of thinking are broadening. The way I behave back at home is different to how I should be here, and by learning this my depth in character is expanding and producing a greater sense of being. It has been hard at points, leaving the life you have known for so long, but it is also the most eye opening and respected life choices I have made so far.
    Even though my time here has been short, I have decided that I wish to stay. Imagine if you went on a year abroad, and found it to be the place you want to spend the rest of your life. You’ll never know, unless you go.
  • Jennifer Birzer

    Jennifer Birzer

    from Kansas State University who studied at The University of Reading in 2011

    My study abroad trip was absolutely the best experience of my life! I had so much fun traveling around England and to other countries- I made it to Germany, France, Spain, Morocco, the Netherlands, Belgium, and Ireland.

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    Making new friends was also a highlight and I will never forget all of the great times I had with the people I met. However, the best outcome of this experience was the personal growth that I achieved; I have definitely returned to the United States a more confident, positive, and independent person. I think everyone should study abroad because it’s a life-changing experience and it’s good to get outside of one’s comfort zone sometimes. I’ve definitely caught the travel bug and I loved England so much that I’m already planning on returning for spring break in 2013!
  • Jessica Patterson

    Jessica Patterson

    from McGill University who studied at the University of Nottingham in 2010

    Studying abroad has allowed me to gain more independence and confidence. Having spent this semester on my own, I’ve made new friends and travelled to places I always wanted to see.

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    The U.K. is a fabulous place for a history student, it is everywhere you look!

    I’m sure that the memories I’ve made here will shape who I am for a long time to come, and that the friends I’ve met will open up new possibilities for travel and fun in the future.

    More than that, I am more confident in my career choice as I now know I’m capable of adjusting to life abroad, and in a few years I hope to be teaching internationally.
  • Jillian Murphy

    Jillian Murphy

    Jillian Murphy from Northeastern University who studied at Queen Mary, University of London in 2014

    I had the most wonderful experience abroad, and a lot of it was thanks to the scholarship I received from BUTEX.
    This is a photo of me visiting Stonehenge, which was one of my favorite days in England. I traveled to 7 countries while abroad, and I loved every bit.

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    Although I was homesick at first, I am incredibly proud of how much I grew during the experience, and I am so pleased with how much I learned. My experiences were some that I never imagined I would have. Specifically with visiting Stonehenge, I had a book of the Wonders of the World when I was much younger, and I was always amazed and intrigued by it. The pages of the books taught me some, but not quite as much as I learned from actually going and seeing the site myself. I could not tell how large the rocks were from the photographs, and the perplexity I felt the first time I read about it as a child was only magnified while looking at the incredible and mysterious structure. It was an amazing experience to fulfill a travel goal that I had had for many years.
  • Joe Morton

    Joe Morton

    from The University of Manchester who studied at The University of California at Santa Cruz in 2009

    Studying abroad presents a number of challenges – academic, financial, social - but the rewards make the undertaking easily worthwhile.

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    This is a statement one has probably heard before but for good reason. It is a hugely beneficial experience, one like no other, and one that can play a formative role in our personal and cultural development.

    Having spent this year in the United States, I find it hard to imagine what my second year of university would have been like otherwise. Studying abroad is fantastic for two reasons.

    Firstly, the experience of learning from American professors and working with American students has been really valuable and has provided me with key academic skills essential for the future.

    It is really important to learn in different ways and to engage with different critical perspectives. You recognize your limitations and, though at times it may be difficult, ultimately, it makes you a better student.

    Secondly, though we may feel we know the USA and its custom even before we go, there is so, so much to see and do. Returning from Santa Cruz this year, I will have seen new landscapes, heard new music, played new sports, and made new friends.

    Furthermore, being a student here instead of a tourist gives you a perspective so much more engaging (and fun!) than any short holiday could.

    For students whose degrees concern specific world cultures, studying abroad is especially important, perhaps even essential. Studying abroad allows you to observe the fundamentals of that society and to understand the finer points of that culture in a way that few textbooks will be able to demonstrate as lucidly.

    You may only get one opportunity to study abroad and I would urge you to take it.

    As perpetual students of the world around us, I struggle to think of an opportunity that broadens understanding and deepens connections more than studying abroad.
  • John Downie

    John Downie

    from Slippery Rock University who studied at The University of Wales Aberystwth in 2012

    The benefits of studying abroad are endless and different for every person.

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    What you may be looking for in a semester or year abroad could be completely differently than others. There are some experiences though that I feel impact and benefit many in the same way.

    After studying abroad, many conflicts in life are able to be dealt with more easily and with more confidence. Learning about other cultures allows you to reflect on your own culture, and therefore learn about your own by noticing the little things that would otherwise be unnoticed through the eyes of someone in a routine and static world. Studying abroad thus provides the opportunity to try new things, see new things, and of course, meet new people.
  • Joseph Spano

    Joseph Spano

    from the University of Miami who studied at the University of Edinburgh in 2009

    Studying abroad was the best time of my college experience.

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    Participating in a foreign environment opened my eyes and allowed me to better understand cultural differences as well as similarities. Studying abroad is an exceptional asset to any education and I am so happy to have been fortunate enough to do it.
  • Joshua Dowie

    Joshua Dowie

    from the University of Manchester who studied at the University of California Santa Barbara in 2009

    My transatlantic adventures have transformed even the most humbly obvious staples of my existence, which I used to take for granted.

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    Example? Take time. Officially have been abroad for the best part of a year. It honestly feels like a four months at most. I suspect the rush of energy, which partners such a huge change, has the ability to alter the perception of the flow life itself.

    Looking back in to past I can see my naive pre-departure self merrily waving and shouting nonsense across the chasm of time to my present self who is locked coolly in a stance which exudes sagacity.

    I inwardly chuckle as I catch wind of the conversation between these two versions of myself.
  • Julie Pallesen

    Julie Pallesen

    from Glasgow School of Art who studied at The Pratt Institute, New York in 2010

    Going away is terrifying and lonely. I had forgotten about that until I arrived in my new empty room with bare white walls.

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    In a new place (country), I am always a step behind the rest. There are always little hints, gestures and cultural things that I don’t catch.

    But I would never hesitate stressing the importance of going to another country to study. I know that I will ever regret it. The opportunity I had to study and live in New York was an amazing challenge.

    And it has given me new things to think about and new ways of seeing. How would I know that the way things are done where I come from could be done differently had I never gone away?

    I am an ambitious and hard working student and I believe that living, travelling and encountering the unfamiliar is a crucial part of my education.

    Studying abroad has opened my world even more. I don’t know where I will end, and I am glad that I do not have to know. Perhaps life, in some aspects, is about looking for some place to be. Someplace (with someone?) to live one\'s life. In a way I think that the search, as long as it does not become that I am running away form anything, is a good and exciting thing.

    My life as a journey. I am in no rush, and I learn very much on the way.

    Before I leave New York to go back, I will have to empty my walls. They are now filled with drawings, photographs and maps, papers scribbled with notes.

    I will leave them empty and white again, but only my walls. I feel that I am filed almost to the point of spilling over with all the new things I have encountered. I know that returning will be hard to do. It will take time. I have a lot to process and put into perspective, and I am very thankful for that.
  • Kaleb D'Aguilar

    Kaleb D'Aguilar

    Studying abroad makes the world smaller! Trapped in a bubble called home, you think the world is vast and unattainable.

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    Studying abroad forces you to interact with this big world; it forces you to adjust to an unknown environment. And slowly you realize that you can do it! The unknown no longer seems scary or distant, but is simply right there...waiting...for you!
  • Kate Ward

    Kate Ward

    from The University of Vermont who studied at The University of Kent in 2008

    My name is Kate Ward. I attend the University of Vermont but am currently spending my junior year abroad at the University of Kent in Canterbury, England.

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    So far my experience has been amazing. I found a great group of friends who loves to travel and we’ve spent nearly every weekend on the road. We’ve taken lots of day trips around England including Dover, Brighton, Windsor, and London. We’ve also done some long weekends that have taken us horseback riding through Wales, a train trip to Scotland and shopping at the Christmas markets in Belgium and Germany. Next weekend we’re headed to Amsterdam! This spring we hope to see more of England as well as take some extended trips to Italy, Spain and Greece. I know it sounds cliche, but I’m truly making friends and creating memories that I will keep with me for the rest of my life. I’m so glad I decided to study abroad!
  • Katherine Stewart

    Katherine Stewart

    from The University of Exeter who studied at Carleton University in 2011

    I think that the best part of the Study Abroad experience is that whatever way you look at it you learn to appreciate what you have.

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    During my time abroad I got to have incredible experiences – I watched whales in Quebec; I held an alligator in Miami; and I watched a musical on Broadway. I felt absorbed into the culture, but I was also eager to see everything as I knew my time was limited. It is unlikely that you will enjoy every aspect of the year abroad, but when things abroad got me down it made me more appreciative of what I had back in the UK and made me more eager to make the most of life when I returned home. My year abroad gave me great experiences, but it also encouraged to make new experiences for myself in my home environment.
  • Krista Brager

    Krista Brager

    from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University who studied at The University of Leeds in 2009

    My semester studying abroad in Leeds, England was the scariest, most chaotic and stressful time in my life, and I would not trade a moment of it for the world.

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    I was able to travel through eight different countries in less than four months while seeing the European country-side extensively by train. In England I made friends from all over the globe. I never imagined a country that spoke the same language as I did could be so different. Academically I was able to take courses that were not offered at my home university and experience a completely unique style of teaching. Returning home I saw the same town I have lived in for ten years through completely new eyes, being astonished by thing I had never even noticed before. This has been the experience of a lifetime and Butex helped make it possible!
  • Kristi Townsend

    Kristi Townsend

    from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro who studied at the University of Strathclyde in 2009

    My semester of studying in the United Kingdom has been one of the most wonderful, formative times of my life, and it will undoubtedly be the pinnacle of my academic career.

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    Although I faced my fair share of culture shock during my first few weeks in Glasgow, I soon grew to love everything about the city and the diverse people in it.

    By examining the cultural contrasts surrounding me, I was able to learn about modern life in Scotland while simultaneously reflecting on the political systems, social customs, and traditions of my home country, America.

    I am immensely grateful for the gracious Scottish hospitality extended to me this semester, and thankful for the opportunity to study English Literature from a fresh, revealing perspective.

    I am confident that my study abroad experience will be a valuable asset in all my future career endeavors.

    After one semester in Scotland, I have met friends from over a dozen countries from all over the globe, and I know that my international friendships have profoundly influenced the way I view the world. Though I am sad to leave Scotland, a country I have grown to love, I am excited to carry my new sense of global citizenship back to my studies in America.

    It is my firm belief that every student should study abroad in order to gain a broader perspective on their academic studies, a greater understanding of cultural difference, and a rewarding view of the incredible beauty that other countries have to offer.

    I am deeply grateful to BUTEX for their generous assistance in funding this life-changing experience!
  • Lauren Swan Eldon

    Lauren Swan Eldon

    from The University of Exeter who studied at The American University, Washington in 2010

    Washington DC is the political epicenter of the world and studying politics there was a huge eye opener.

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    The campus is the most politically active in America, with students protesting and joining organisations to impact the political climate.

    I was able to study a variety of subjects from News, Media and Foreign Policy and Contemporary Middle East to The American Presidency, which greatly broadened my awareness of world politics.

    American University is renowned for its phenomenal International Relations department, which was right up my street.

    I also interned at NBC News, which was an amazing experience and allowed me to explore the depths of DC and its political arena beyond the class room.

    For example, I was able to attend events relating to the mid-term elections, which was so interesting and I was also lucky enough to meet the Vice President of the United States, Joe Biden.

    All in all this trip allowed me to step out of my comfort zone and develop skills in fields I had not considered before.

    It developed me in all dimensions, including my academic ability and my personal independence and I would recommend this opportunity to anyone who is offered the chance.
  • Liam Speed

    Liam Speed

    from The University of Exeter who studied at The University of Aukland, New Zealand in 2013

    Studying abroad was one of the best decisions I think I’ve ever made. I have spent the year in Auckland, New Zealand and it’s been more than just a holiday, and even more than an experience, it is a radically different way of life.

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    Studying here, you quickly settle into the lifestyle. You have time to change what you want and your plans and interests. I’m not the same person as I was when I came here, and I’ve changed for the better. I left the UK a scared little boy reluctant to change, and I now feel confident with my life, and see the entire world as my home.
    I found it very beneficial to study at a different University. The things that the University has more interest in are different, and I got to choose courses that I wouldn’t get to learn at my home University. All I had ever studied in Exeter was physics courses, but here I got to study courses in environmental issues, Philosophy and Geophysics. It’s sparked new interest in me, and I’ve leaned things I otherwise would never have got the chance to learn.
    I have had the opportunity to see the entire country whilst I was here, and it is such a beautiful country. I saw the most beautiful natural beauty that I wouldn’t dream about seeing in the UK, and I did things I have always wanted to do but never had the chance, like surfing and bungy jumping.
    There are very few times in life where such an enormous opportunity will get handed to you; to see the world and retain the career that you have been working for. Even more than that, you are improving it! This will look fantastic to any employer, because they know how much this broadens your mind and improves you on so many levels.
    This year has entirely changed my life, and these experiences are always huge steps full of uncertainty, but I’m so glad I went for it. I urge anyone who is as scared as I was before I came here to just go for it.
  • Luca Piercey

    Luca Piercey

    from The University of Kent who studied at The University of California Berkley in 2011

    I hope that everyone who has the opportunity to experience a year or a term abroad leaps at the chance, I have experienced more than I ever could have imagined.

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    It\'s not just a holiday wherein you learn about another culture, you are completely immersed in a life-changing experience that is not only incredibly fun but also inspiring and eye-opening. BUTEX helped me accomplish as much as I did and be proud of what I have come away with.
  • Megan Giedraitis

    Megan Giedraitis

    from The University of North Carolina at Wilmington, USA who studied at Swansea University in 2013

    Being an international student can be really intimidating, but everyone back home and in Swansea was so supportive throughout the journey. It is hard to describe all that comes with studying abroad, but it definitely changes you as a person.

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    In addition to seeing new sights, eating amazing dishes, and doing things you may not be able to at home, no one tells you about the incredible people that you will meet. Learning and working in a different country taught me that with just a pinch of cultural sensitivity you can create strong connections with people all over the world. Along with taking Psychology courses at Swansea University, the program allowed me to volunteer on my days off at the Connect Project. At Connect, I got the privilege to help teach a therapeutic art class for adults living with and recovering from mental illness. I never had the chance to participate in hands-on field work before, and now I am much more confident in myself and my abilities. Studying abroad gives you a whole new perspective on life, shapes you into a more independent person, and brings a new feeling of power and love back into your life.
  • Melissa Guillemette

    Melissa Guillemette

    from the University of Quebec in Montreal who studied at The University of Leeds in 2009

    What a semester! In Leeds, a month was so intense that it seems like I have spent at least two years in that lovely city.

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    I enjoyed my classes. I was in England to study politics and learned a lot about european politic. Of course, it wasn\'t always easy. As a french-speaker, writting many essays of over 3000 words at first seemed impossible. But I made it, and feel so much more comfortable in English now!
    I also met so many people, saw so many wonderful landscapes, tasted so good food! I actually got totally addicted to scones, afternoon tea and mushed peas! My roomates were really nice. They came from each side of the world, so we had really good dinners, cooking our traditional food for each others. I therefore learned not only about England, but also about Australia, India, Japan and America. I joined the hiking society of the university, which was a perfect way to meet friends. I travelled around Britain with them and almost became waterproof myself, after all the rain we have been through! I will never forget the astonishing views over the top of all those summits we climbed on. I also joined the Bollywood dance society and got to learn something really different. It was the cherry on the top! 

    Thanks for helping me to do all that, I had the best time of my life! 
  • Michael Robinson

    Michael Robinson

    from Keele University who studied at Ball State Univerity in 2009

    The decision to apply for study abroad was one of the best decisions I have made.

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    The new friends I have made, the self confidence I have gained and generally just the experience of being in another culture for a year are priceless.
  • Munene Khoza

    Munene Khoza

    from the University of Stirling who studied at the The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2009

    Studying abroad has been a challenging and rewarding opportunity. I’ve been able to travel and see, touch, hear, experience things that were beyond my reach when I was back home.

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    I’ve come to appreciate cultures and histories so different from my own and feel a better citizen of the world for it. It hasn\'t always been easy but knowing I\'ve had the courage and perseverance to push on has been indescribably affirming. It’s given me the initiative to try new things and the self-esteem and focus to take on academic and other pursuits fearlessly. I stepped into this study abroad programme with an excited apprehension which has evolved into an unforgettable journey of self-discovery and self-assurance. I encourage anybody who is afforded the opportunity to study abroad to grab it with both hands, pack light and ready themselves for a life-changing experience.
  • Natasha Hirata-Smith

    Natasha Hirata-Smith

    from The University of Manchester who studied at McGill University, Canada in 2015

    Never hesitate if you’re given the opportunity to study abroad – I’m certain that you’ll experience many obstacles, but the benefits from meeting new people, cultures and experiences will easily outweigh these.

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    The BUTEX scholarship was one of those pieces of encouragement that helped me make it to Canada, despite, at times, some difficult circumstances, and for this I am very grateful. From the moment I arrived I felt very much at home, and I already know that one semester here will not be long enough.

    The best part of studying abroad to me is the chance to challenge yourself; of course keeping up with academic work is part of it, but I’m also taking part in activities that perhaps I wouldn’t consider back home – such as supporting local sports teams, volunteering in the community and representing my residence in team-work challenges.

    Essentially, every moment in Canada so far has been brilliant, and no matter what, my advice is to go for it and never look back!
  • Natasha Turner

    Natasha Turner

    from The University of Birmingham who studied at Pitzer College

    I know this sounds like a cliché, but this year abroad has genuinely been one of the best years of my life.

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    The weather and the scenery in southern California are unreal and I have been able to travel to the most amazing and beautiful places. Oh yes, and I have been studying hard as well of course…

    The best thing about this year has been the opportunity to study and learn in a new and exciting way. The American education system at a liberal arts college has given me a wider breadth of knowledge and a variety of different lenses through which to view the world and myself. This has been crucial to my development as a student and as a person, and I have become much more sure of my future goals and myself.

    The range of opportunities offered on a year abroad does not just apply to studying. It’s embarrassing to think back on the times when I couldn’t be bothered to travel into the town centre from my Uni at home, as opposed to out here where my American peers think I’m crazy when I tell them I want to pop off to Boston for the weekend. This year has definitely taught me to seize opportunities when they arise and never to get complacent or lazy. Studying abroad will make you believe that you can do anything, and you can! It made me believe that I could do a half marathon in San Francisco, despite very clear evidence to the contrary, and somehow I did it! Basically, studying abroad will cause you to acquire magical powers. Everyone loves magical powers.

    The last thing that cannot go unsaid about studying abroad (which is I’m sure why everyone says it) is that it is an amazing way to meet interesting people from all over the world and to make lifelong friendships and connections. In my original Butex application I said that I couldn’t travel without dry British humour. I can now report back on this to say that this often led to many comic misunderstandings and that anyone who says that there are no cultural differences between people who speak the same language is lying. But it was these moments that resulted in the strongest of friendships, the greatest learning experiences across cultures, and that will undoubtedly result in nostalgic anecdotes in the future.

    So if you get the chance to study abroad, DO IT DO IT. And if you don’t get the chance, DO IT ANYWAY. There is always a way, and you will not regret it.

  • Nathan Allen

    Nathan Allen

    from Kenyon College who studied at the University of Exeter in 2009

    There is a difference between experience and exposure. No matter where you are, or what you do, you\'re going to have experiences; but studying abroad is your opportunity to be exposed to a different way of life, of discovering how extra-ordinary ordinary, everyday experiences are.

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    You inevitably come with the perspective that your preconceptions are normal, and you quickly discover that, in fact, you are the stranger here, not the other way around.

    It is refreshing and unsettling - it is the experience of being exposed. You can\'t know what you\'re getting into. You can\'t wait to do it again!

    It has been a wonderful year! I am very grateful to have received the Butex Scholarship.

    It has enabled me to backpack in Europe much more than I would have been able. Thank you for your support!
  • Nathan Teckman

    Nathan Teckman

    from the University of Birmingham who studied at the University of Alabama in 2009

    Despite being an incredibly daunting experience at first, coming to study at the University of Alabama has proven to be one of the best and most valuable experiences of my life (so far...).

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    As well as getting a chance to study America, the subject of my degree, up close and personal, my year abroad has also taught me a lot about my own culture and myself.

    As a \'foreigner\' in an alien culture I have come to realise what I appreciate about Britain, as well as what I love about America; I have gained a much wider perspective on my own life.

    Along with this, I have met people that have influenced and changed my life forever; changed the way I think about the world and myself.

    One of my fellow exchange students described Alabama as \"A paradise behind a stigma\" and I have to say I agree with him. Despite its somewhat negative image abroad, Alabama is a great place to live and study; the people here are warm and accepting, the food is homely and wholesome, as well as surprisingly diverse and I am now an avid fan of American football (A necessity when attending the University).

    I would recommend this experience to everyone; you don’t truly know who you are until you have experienced life outside your comfort zone. I have fallen in love with the country and the people, and whereas I was originally scared of coming to America, I am now scared of leaving it.
  • Oliver Lee

    Oliver Lee

    from Brunel University who studied at San Francisco State University, USA in 2013

    Studying abroad makes you truly independent and forces you to immerse yourself into a new culture.

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    In a new country you learn a lot of new things in and out of classes, it gives you a huge amount of life experience that not many people have. I have also gained a large international network of friends, which will be great for future work and travel!\\\"
  • Peter Mennie

    Peter Mennie

    from Queen’s University who studied at The University of Warwick in 2008

    My time studying abroad has been the experience of a lifetime. The outstanding professors and the diversity of the student body at my host university have given me both an international education and a new outlook on my academic discipline.

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    Having met so many new people and made so many new friends, I have come to feel very fortunate to be in my new home away from home.

    I have also been lucky enough to have been able to explore both the UK and some parts of Europe, which has left me with memories which will last a lifetime.

    Having had to adapt to a new social milieu has also allowed me to gain a new perspective on myself, my own culture, and my place in the world.

    Being so immersed in a society which is not my own has given me the opportunity to see things differently, and the new perspectives and ideas I have learned while studying abroad will stay with me the rest of my life.
  • Rebecca Dunks

    Rebecca Dunks

    Often our education can become something completely removed from the other areas of our lives. It becomes merely a tedious, but necessary step towards an end goal. By studying abroad though, it can become an adventure.

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    Your studies can take you to a completely different culture where you will not only learn in the classroom, but also in your everyday life. My time in Norwich, England was like this. In the classroom, I studied art history. I had the privilege of having my classes in The Sainsbury Centre for the Visual Arts, where we could learn about artists and then walk down the hallway to look at the artwork they produced. If I couldn’t find what I was looking for there, London and all its museums were only a train ride away. Outside of the classroom, meanwhile, I lived with a group of British students, making it not only easy but also necessary to learn about British culture. When you are thrown into an unfamiliar environment like this, you learn how to adapt quickly and make friends despite different backgrounds and circumstances. This is undoubtedly a valuable life skill. The proximity of England to the rest of Europe also made it easy to explore a wide variety of places and cultures. For instance, I was given the opportunity to travel to Paris and Italy. All of these experiences began with my decision to take part in the study abroad program. It made my education exciting again and as a result, I would encourage all students to consider a study abroad program if possible.
  • Robyn Schwarz

    Robyn Schwarz

    from The University of British Columbia who studied at The University of Glasgow in 2010

    Studying abroad in Scotland has allowed me to explore, and learn so much about myself and my relationship with the world.

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    Glasgow is a marvellous city and I will miss all the fun that I have had living there, meeting people from around the world, and discovering what it Britain’s place in the world is.

    Being so close to mainland Europe allowed me to visit places that I’ve only read about, like Athens, Istanbul, Prague, and Paris. This is invaluable as a history student, being able to see and touch the things that you are studying.

    I’ve gained a greater appreciation for Scottish history taking classes that would never be offered at home.

    Studying abroad has also allowed me to gain a new sense of independence and understanding that I could have never found in Canada. I’ve made friends that I will keep for the rest of my life.
  • Sarah Gotowiec

    Sarah Gotowiec

    from the University of Toronto who studied at the University of Glasgow in 2009

    Having just finished my semester on exchange to Glasgow, the benefits of studying abroad were everything I expected before leaving: being immersed in a new culture, meeting many new people, experiencing a fresh academic setting, and having the opportunity to travel to exciting places.

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    However, there are many additional positive aspects I had not previously considered.

    Arriving half way around the world and settling into a brand new life instilled in me a confidence that allowed me to grow as a person and as a student.

    I am leaving Glasgow with my eyes opened to the vast world that exists beyond my life at home and with renewed zest for travelling and seeing the world.
  • Shea Shelby

    Shea Shelby

    from The University of Oklahoma who studied at The University of Hertfordshire in 2008

    To name just a few of the benefits of studying abroad would be selling the experience completely short. During my 6 months studying in the United Kingdom, I have met students from too many countries to name. Australia, Germany, Spain, France, the Netherlands, Greece, Turkey, Cyprus, India, Pakistan, Ireland, South Africa,

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    and of course the United Kingdom are just a few of the nationalities that I have befriended. This has taught me much about other cultures and what it is like being a young university student in these countries. It also has given me a different view of my country, which has taught me a lot as well. These friends I will hopefully keep for a long time, and I hope that they will come visit me so I can show them what America is all about, and I hope that I can visit them in their countries. Studying abroad has allowed me to travel and see Europe, visit my ancestors homeland of Ireland, and gave me the one-in-a-lifetime opportunity to watch a Premier League match at Anfield to see my favorite football club Liverpool. I took a course at the University of Hertfordshire which took a week long field trip to Switzerland, which is an unheard of opportunity in America. The experiences I have had, the memories that I have made, and the friends that I have made will last a lifetime. I could not of had these if I choose to stay home and not study abroad, and BUTEX allowed me to experience even more in my time abroad. To say studying abroad is beneficial is to state the obvious, but to say studying abroad has been so far the highlight of my life would be the honest truth.
  • Simon Fuchs

    Simon Fuchs

    from the University of York, England who studied at York University, Canada in 2009

    For me personally, going to Canada, going abroad and encountering a new culture, new people and of course studying at a different university, was not an easy step, not an easy decision to make.

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    Before going on an exchange programme, there are so many thoughts, so many possibilities and so many obstacles which one should consider – but eventually it all comes down to a leap of faith – a single moment where one just decides to go abroad, to do it.

    What you will get after you’ve made up your mind is really just a surprise package – a little bit different for everyone, but in almost all cases it will be a bundle of positive and negative experiences that will shape your mind, your attitudes and your character – and usually for the better.

    I personally believe – and I’ve heard similar stories from other exchange students – that only by leaving your comfort zone you are able to reflect on your character, think about your values, and achieve a new perspective on so many things.

    This is something, which can only be achieved by going abroad, and an exchange year offers the best possibility to do so.
  • Thuong Thuong Nguyen

    Thuong Thuong Nguyen

    from The University of Leeds who studied at Queen’s University, Canada in 2008

    When one asks about the benefits of studying abroad, it is rather difficult to give an answer that accounts well enough for all the impressions, experiences, memories and knowledge gathered while spending a year immersed in a different country.

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    The first and main thought that comes to my mind when I think about my time spent abroad is how much my mind has broadened ever since. Some people would say that by going abroad, one will learn about a whole new culture.

    I completely agree with this statement but I would like to expand it and state that one will even learn about the whole world. I think this is a fundamental difference between “travelling”, “visiting places” and “going on a University exchange”.
    In an attempt to explain this I would say that by being an exchange student, I met other exchange students from other countries throughout the world.

    We shared the same “exchange” experiences and the same interests and we learned about each other. I have discovered countries that never really thought about. I am currently spending my year abroad in Canada, a country that one would call multicultural.

    However I never thought that by going there I would learn for example that Dutch people quote advertisements for sausages when they don’t understand what you said, that in Malaysia there are different classes of people stated by law, that Cyprus has a special breed of mountain sheep, or that “Dumela” is “Hello” in Setswana (the national language of Botswana). I hope those examples illustrate well enough how much I learned by meeting other exchange students. I have learned facts about countries around the world that I would have learned only by travelling to those countries.

    In conclusion, I would like to emphasize on the fact that studying abroad will give one a very unique international environment such as when you will come back, it will be with a completely different view on the world.

    Although I agree with the fact that leaving family and friends for a year seems difficult, what I earned in return for it was more than worth it.
  • Tyler Searls

    Tyler Searls

    This semester abroad has been one of the most enriching decisions I have made as part of undergraduate education. The experience has forever changed my perceptions of different cultures and lifestyles;

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    it has made me a ‘worldlier’ person (mind the cliché).
    The idea of an exchange was appealing in prospect but I had my doubts concerning feasibility from the early planning phases: how would I afford it? Could it be considered academically? Without holding me back a year? I stuck with it, everything fell into place (thanks, BUTEX), and here I am almost a year after signing the original documents. Living in a different country has not always been smooth sailing, there having been challenging moments that can be expected when adjusting to a new school system and way of life; the positives have far outweighed the moments of hardship however.
    There was a moment walking up the side of Snowdon in North Wales, overlooking the vastness of the valleys below that I realised I had made an incredible decision in coming here for the semester. The next few months to follow would be invaluable as a learning experience, times of personal and professional growth, and a reflection of my own culture and lifestyles back at home.
    I’ve always had a traveller’s spirit, so the opportunity of an exchange (pending feasibility), was a ‘no brainer’ for me. My time here, and I’m sure times to come, have only reinforced my drive to somehow incorporate travel into the fabric of my education and career beyond.
    There is no amount of domestic in class education that can equate to the experiences one inherits through a study abroad – a truly invaluable undertaking.
  • William Flanagan

    William Flanagan

    Studying abroad has been a fantastic experience and one that I would thoroughly recommend to any student. It has introduced me to new cultures, landscapes and, most importantly, people.

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    Spending a year living in a city gives you more than enough time to make long lasting friends with those around you who, despite being very much missed when the year is up, can be visited in the future.

    There is a big difference between visiting a place as a tourist and living there as a true citizen. The latter provides full insight into the various quirky senses of humour, attitudes and pastimes of native people as well as immersing you into the culture of the country so much you may even start using a bit of their lingo.

    Living abroad also provides difficulties like finding the right house (and the right people!), however I have felt that experiences like this have prepared me for the real world and made me more independent than I ever would have been back at home.

    Studying abroad has given me a taste of how much there is to discover in the world, and a thirst to see and experience it all which may never be quenched!