Oscar Castenfelt

University:American University of Paris

Course:History

Which year you are in:First year

Home Town in UK:London

1. Why did you choose to study abroad?

When making the decision whether to study within my home country or to venture elsewhere outside of my comfort zone, several factors swayed me into selecting the foreign option. However, one aspect of the study abroad experience held more importance in my resolve. With AUP I saw the opportunity to immerse myself in a new culture allowing me to familiarise myself with a different lifestyle, which ultimately would help me to navigate new international environments. I have not been disappointed. My interactions with the local community and above all my fellow students at AUP have deepened my understanding of other cultures and heightened my social awareness under different conditions.

2. How would you rate the assistance of the university before you arrived (the application process, finding accommodation, sorting out financial matters)?

The system that AUP has adopted in order to organise the inflow of student applications, financial issues and the personal preferences in relation to accommodation was a clear and smooth online procedure. It caused me little to no difficulty, and clarification from my admissions counsellor was just a phone call or e-mail away.

3. How would you rate the assistance of the university when you arrived (orientation etc)?

The orientation process was a well-coordinated and informative experience allowing students to register conveniently and to be allocated their correct accommodations.

4. Did you feel prepared when you arrived and/or what surprised you?

When arriving at AUP I was surprised at the extent of the diversity of the incoming student body both in terms of national origins and personal backgrounds. This was a very pleasant surprise.  

5. How would you rate the learning environment (teaching style, studying with other international students, non-native English speaking lecturers)?

The learning experience at AUP is very interactive, which makes the teaching process participatory and therefore so very much more interesting than that available in the usual lecture format. This allows for a deeper understanding of concepts taught and also helps to develop presentational skills. There is a very large amount of different courses to choose from in all kinds of subjects.

6. Would you recommend studying abroad to a 17-18 year old Brit who might never have thought about it before?

I would strongly recommend fellow Brits to apply to AUP as this educational opportunity will allow you to develop your thinking and personality beyond the natural constrictions of your respective backgrounds. You will flourish and become a more rounded individual in what is becoming a globalised world.

8. Would you recommend your course, university, city to British students?

I would strongly recommend AUP’s First Bridge course that I took last semester which looked at history from a philosophical perspective which I found truly interesting and gave me new insights into how I should approach certain historical events.