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How Across the Pond saved my life while applying to schools in the UK

Ria - MSc Sustainability and Management

I first heard about Across the Pond through a sorority sister of mine that I went to college with. I remembered that she had used this to be able to gain help with her application process when she went to get her master’s in the UK (specifically in Brighton). Man, if I hadn’t heard about this program and how simple it is to use, I would probably be very lost right now. I think this is easily one of the best tools on the internet in terms of finding help for all those questions you might have about why, where, and how you can study abroad in a country different from yours. I am SO grateful that I was able to utilize this tool, and again I thank my friend and longtime sister for mentioning this tip and other tricks to me for when I was getting ready to apply and prepare to move to the UK. 

What it was like working with Across the Pond

I immediately got paired with an advisor, and she is literally one of the most hard-working and sincere individuals I have ever met (in person and virtually) in my entire life. I had a very easy time navigating the website and applying to get paired with a mentor right away. It was a very pleasant experience working with Across the Pond and specifically my advisor because the group is super understanding of your frustrations, fears, and millions of questions (trust me…you will have loads).

They make it so comforting and easy for you to apply because they are like the middle people between you and the school(s) you are applying to or want to apply to. The communication from my advisor and Across the Pond was amazing. I chatted with my advisor on the daily as she gave me clear instructions and always was able to help me feel in the loop throughout the whole process until I basically got to England. I had a wonderful time working with Across the Pond for these reasons and would recommend it to anyone any day! 

How was my experience unique?

My experience, firstly, with Across the Pond was quite unique because I was able to meet my advisor in person! This is crazy because not many people have the opportunity to be able to meet their advisors in person especially because they probably don’t live in the same city or state as you do. I was able to work with my advisor all throughout my time abroad because I was an ambassador for Across the Pond, which means I got to blog and post on social media throughout the year showcasing my experience to prospective students. This was a wonderful opportunity considering I was able to give firsthand experience and advice to students who had the same questions and thoughts that I had before I applied. People were also able to get a taste of what it is like to study in Surrey (right outside of London) from my posts. 

As far as studying in England goes, I feel my experience is quite different from that of others because I was living in a small town about an hour outside of central London. It was awesome because I was able to get into the city super quickly via train, but I was also able to get back to the quiet and nature-filled town when I was done for the day in the city. I felt I also was able to gain unique experiences because I participated in societies on campus and was able to meet internationals and locals this way. My housemates (12 of us) were also mostly all international students who I was lucky to meet.

There is something special about being close to London, but also close enough to other large or medium-sized cities such as Oxford or Cambridge which are a short train ride away. Outside of my classroom time, I participated in a German learning course that was made for non-language degree-seeking students, so I was with other adults that weren’t studying languages at the university. This was a great way for me personally to make friends, and I even became friends with my German tutor. That was a lot of fun for me because I love learning languages. Other than my hobbies and extracurriculars, my program was very inclusive of a number of subject areas that sustainability covers. I studied sustainability at Royal Holloway, and I was able to learn a large variety of information due to the broad lecture topics and the expertise my professors had in their fields of work. I truly had an enjoyable and unique experience overall! 

What I like about Across the Pond’s approach and delivery

This question is definitely an easy one to answer! What I loved most about the delivery system of Across the Pond is that communication happens directly. Your advisor is assigned to email you, and you will get emails on the daily. These emails are usually super important! I appreciated the prompt responses from my advisor as I had deadlines that needed to be met and many questions that needed attention and answers. Your advisor is also the person that is delivering information to and from the university for the most part, so they are able to provide you with everything the university requires from you before and after an acceptance (if that becomes the case for you). I like that Across the Pond is ready to take on any and every student that wants help to reach their goals of living and studying in the UK. They make it so easy, so please do take advantage of this completely FREE service! 

How I would describe this whole experience in a few short sentences

Overall, I have made it very clear that my experience has been nothing short of a perfect one. Of course, I was very lucky to have gotten an advisor that I can now call one of my friends and favorite people. From start to finish, I had no problems and my questions were answered right away. My advisor never made me feel like I was asking anything stupid because she knew how hard it was to apply with zero knowledge or previous education of how the UK educational system works. Everything was explained perfectly, and even though my application and visa process was a little slow (which was on the school and the embassy partly), my advisor was able to help me speed the process up and keep me comforted when I was having struggles or was scared about getting letters back from the schools. Without a doubt, I would give Across the Pond 12/10 as a rating because that is how much I appreciated this program and benefited from it! I know you all will, too! 

I would absolutely recommend this service to anyone who is interested in studying abroad in the UK and feels they are lacking in knowledge or feel clueless about where to even look for programs or how the application process might go. This is for those of you students who would benefit from an experienced professional about the UK school system. Many advisors have also had the opportunity to study in the UK, so they are able to provide their thoughts and share their experiences if you are curious about real experiences. Anyone could benefit from having a little extra support from Across the Pond advisors who are empathetic and patient with students who need and ask for the help!

Go for it! What are you waiting for?!