From New York to the UK, Jacob's experience as an exchange student at WBS

20 May 2019

In this blog, Jacob Ritter talks about his exchange experience at WBS, coming from New York to the UK on the undergraduate exchange programme.

My name is Jacob Ritter, and I am a Junior from Cornell University in New York. I am originally from upstate New York, and am currently studying Industrial and Labor Relations with a Business minor and I am Pre-Law. This past term, 10 weeks in total, I spent my time abroad in the UK at Warwick Business School (WBS), at the University of Warwick, and I enjoyed every moment of my experience.

I chose to attend Warwick because of the excellent reputation of the University along with my goal to focus on internal business practices. Since I plan to attend law school to become a corporate lawyer after completing my undergraduate studies, I wanted to strengthen my knowledge on business strategies and found WBS the ideal place to do so.

When I first arrived, I was placed in Claycroft student accommodation and lived with other first year students. I appreciated that the university placed me with other first year students as it was my first time on campus, along with theirs, which helped with the transition. We all had similar questions and were equally excited to be there. The students I lived with were from all over the world, so I was able to learn more about their cultures as well. The accommodation I was placed in was ideally located close to both campus and a shopping centre, which has a large Tesco store, so in my opinion it was a great spot for on-campus living. The community feeling and the diverse range of students that I was surrounded by at Warwick allowed for my 10 weeks in the UK to be a great experience.

Since I was an exchange student, my home University required that I enrolled in a full schedule which entailed five modules at WBS, each one being 12 cats. One of the hardest transitions was the way in which the modules were taught compared to classes back at my home University. At Warwick, the classes that I took met once every week, along with some seminars, and the majority of the course work was due at the end of term. As an exchange student I did not need to take exams, however; I was required to write a paper for each one of my modules. Back at my home University, we have assignments due throughout the semester along with finals at the end, so I had to adjust my studying habits to work with the schedule at Warwick. The classes I took were extremely beneficial in gaining more insight into business practices. WBS offers an array of classes that range from Marketing to Customer Service Management. My favourite module at Warwick was Consumer Behaviour. The module leader created an interactive classroom and always tied the material to recent marketing campaigns that we could critique. I was also able to collaborate in projects. For two of my modules we presented in groups, strengthening my public speaking skills whilst interacting with other WBS students. It was also a great way to get to know people at WBS working within the teams.

As an exchange student, one of the best aspects of studying abroad was the accessibility to travel and the opportunity to see other countries. During my brief time abroad, I was able to travel to Dublin, London, Berlin, Barcelona, and Switzerland. Even while taking a full course load, I was able to find time to travel most weekends to immerse myself in numerous different cultures. Exploring whilst studying abroad was definitely an advantage to the whole experience! My biggest regret is that I did not plan out all of my excursions so I was unable to experience some of Warwick’s attractions such as Warwick Castle, which I heard is a must see. After getting on campus, I was informed about a Facebook group of other exchange students from all around the world. As the only Cornell student at the time studying at WBS, this Facebook group allowed me to interact with other exchange students and share our thoughts and travel plans with one another.

For other students thinking about coming to Warwick on the Exchange Programme, I would recommend that they find Facebook groups for exchange students before arriving on campus in order to discuss living arrangements and travel plans. Another recommendation would be to plan your travel goals ahead of time. This will not only save you money, but will also allow you to see more places whilst staying on top of your studies. Although my time at Warwick was brief, I loved my experience on campus and enjoyed all of the opportunities that studying abroad offers!

At Warwick Business School, we offer Undergraduate exchange opportunities to students from our partner institutions which range from 1 term to a full year. Students have the opportunity to take a range of modules from across WBS's subject disciplines and immerse themselves in British culture in a campus environment.

If you are interested in undertaking an exchange placement at Warwick Business School, please contact the Student Mobility Team in Student Opportunity.