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    Hello,

    I apologize now for this being a lengthy post.

    I am looking to begin my postgraduate studies in English this September. As an American student, I am looking for any insight that can be given to me by UK students as I continue my selection process. One of my former college professors (who teaches in London for at least one term each year) has been of great help. She has advised me that any uni based in London will be more expensive, especially in terms of the cost of living. But on the other hand, I'd probably have a better chance of finding a part-time job. So, I am taking this into account as I make a decision. However, I'd still like your help.

    I applied to 8 universities. I know, that's a bit much. But honestly, I did not think my chances of being accepted were very good and thought I'd only have about 2 or 3 universities from which to choose. So far, the only uni to turn me down is St. Andrews. I still have not heard back from UCL, King's or Exeter, but should within the next two weeks (I don't think I'll receive offers from any of these three, but who knows...).

    Here are my current choices: Queen Mary, University of Sussex, Goldsmith's, and Oxford Brookes. I've basically ruled out Oxford Brookes. I really like the other three and their English Postgraduate programs. I've received unconditional offers from all three. As with anything, each have their pros and cons. I've tried to peruse these forums in order to get more of the direct student "feel" and input about the general reputations of these unis. For instance, I've read multiple postings on this board about Goldsmith's being a really good school for humanities, but that New Cross is kind of "sketchy" and not all that safe. Queen Mary is perhaps the most prestigious of my current choices, but they don't offer much assistance (in terms of scholarships) for international students. Sussex is also excellent, but accommodation can be a nightmare. These are just a few examples of what I've read.

    So, is anyone willing to chime in with direct input about Queen Mary, University of Sussex, and Goldsmith's? And assuming I'm accepted within the next two weeks to either of the following (though I don't think I will be), I'd love to hear more student input regarding UCL, King's, and Exeter.

    Any help/insight that anyone can give me regarding these universities (their reputations, teachers, accommodations, work opportunities, etc.) would be greatly appreciated!
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    Hi!
    Im also an american postgraduate student looking to study in England this September, so of course I wont nearly be as much help as the other people on this site. But I did visit Goldsmith's this past November, and although the area wasn't as nice as many of the other Universities, its definitely diverse (lots of ethnic restaurants) and didn't seem all that bad, it was a pretty busy area! Im not sure what program you have applied for, but the facilities in Goldsmiths looked great! Sorry I cant give much feed back on the other Uni's, but best of luck!
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    Hi fellow American! Like the person above me, I'm probably not as much help as a someone who lives in the UK, but I'm also trying to make a decision about which schools to choose! Personally, I wanted to stay within the London circle because I feel like it would be easier socially for me. I have one relative and a handful of family friends in London, but I felt like I'd do much better being in the city than being somewhere a bit further out or in the countryside. As for costs, I sacrificed going to Bentley to go to a state school for my undergrad and save money up for grad school, so my mentally is that if I get into either Imperial, King's, or Queen Mary that I'll grit my teeth and do it because those are such FANTASTIC schools!
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    Thanks for the responses!

    I'm so excited because I just received an unconditional offer from UCL! I'm shocked and very excited. Also, I have an interview next week with King's! I'm hoping to receive an offer. But as it stands now, I've narrowed my choices to Sussex, UCL, and Queen Mary. I've yet to hear back from Exeter. It's so difficult to choose because, like rugbygal said, these universities are all excellent. Yet, they each offer something very different. I hope I make the right choice. I'm so looking forward to the experience of going abroad, earning my Master's, and making new connections.

    Best of luck to the both of you! I hope you get into the program of your choice!
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    Congrats! Good luck on your King's interview! I just got a conditional offer from Queen Mary and am so excited! What area of the US are you from?
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    Fellow American here! I'll be studying for my MA at Goldsmiths in September, and I did a semester at Queen Mary last year during undergrad. I really enjoyed my time at QMUL, and probably would have considered it for post grad if they had the specific program I'm studying. The east end does still have some sketchy bits, but they really built it up a lot for the Olympics, and there's some great stuff over there now. I definitely felt that being in the city would help with regard to getting a PT job and socializing (plus I'm a city girl at heart, and don't think I could handle living more than 20 minutes outside a major city anyways). Plus I hope to stay in the UK after grad school, and so my hope is that I will be able to network more for long term job prospects in London than I could in a small town.
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    Another American here!

    I've been accepted to KCL for International Relations this September and still awaiting word on LSE. Also applied to some U.S. schools like NYU, Georgetown, Boston U, George Washington, American, etc. Like you guys, the opportunity to live in the city of London really intrigued me, especially for the social aspects and potential internships/PT jobs. I also hope to find some short-term employment in London after graduating, but I realize that is far from a given haha

    I visited London a couple of weeks ago and toured the areas around LSE and Kings - predictably, they are fantastic. Lots going on, right in the middle of everything, really bustling. KCL is basically a block from the Thames and the architecture is magnificent. A really large school considering it's smack dab in central London. LSE was smaller, but Holborn is a great neighborhood. KCL, UCL, and LSE are really right in the heart of it all, from the end of the Thames up through Bloomsbury. Shops, restaurants, threaters, bars, etc. Very crowded and lots of tourists as you move north from the campuses.

    I've looked at residences in the East End and Kings Cross area. I actually found the East End to be quite charming, near Spitalfield/Liverpool Street - lots of narrow alleys, pubs and restaurants, and close to the main drag. Reminded me a little bit of the West Village in New York City. Kings Cross was nice too - a little busier though as you walk North, things get considerably quieter towards the Camden area. I'm looking at Nido Student Living in one of those two areas to live, direct trains to LSE/KCL from Liverpool St; and I believe Kings Cross goes directly to Embankment (KCL's stop).

    Since I'm from the U.S. and probably going to end up working there long-term anyway (considering how horrid the job prospects are for non-EU citizens trying to find work in the UK), spending a year studying in London is a fantastic opportunity and probably too much to pass up. Most U.S. grad schools are reclusive - majority of people are working and tend to have their own interests, whereas in London unis, it seems as though the college "spirit" still exists even after undergrad and there is more of a community sense in the universities (though my impressions of LSE were that it leans more towards a U.S. grad school socially, rather than a typical inclusive London uni, but still seems fine)

    Remember, even for you guys who are studying a little bit out of central London, the tube system there is fantastic and can get you from the outskirts to the city very quickly. As far as residences, there are numerous establishments in London (even outside the University of London housing network) that cater to students and have residences for students only, another thing extremely rare in the U.S. I can give you guys some more names to look at in that regard if you're interested. They do tend to be pricey (probably can't find anything for less than 210-250 GBP a week), but usually there are a lot of perks (i.e. some have gyms, social events, security, free wifi, game rooms with TVs, etc.)

    Good luck to everyone on their search and admissions! Glad to see other Americans potentially studying in London this fall!
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    (Original post by alycat)
    Hello,

    I apologize now for this being a lengthy post.

    I am looking to begin my postgraduate studies in English this September. As an American student, I am looking for any insight that can be given to me by UK students as I continue my selection process. One of my former college professors (who teaches in London for at least one term each year) has been of great help. She has advised me that any uni based in London will be more expensive, especially in terms of the cost of living. But on the other hand, I'd probably have a better chance of finding a part-time job. So, I am taking this into account as I make a decision. However, I'd still like your help.

    I applied to 8 universities. I know, that's a bit much. But honestly, I did not think my chances of being accepted were very good and thought I'd only have about 2 or 3 universities from which to choose. So far, the only uni to turn me down is St. Andrews. I still have not heard back from UCL, King's or Exeter, but should within the next two weeks (I don't think I'll receive offers from any of these three, but who knows...).

    Here are my current choices: Queen Mary, University of Sussex, Goldsmith's, and Oxford Brookes. I've basically ruled out Oxford Brookes. I really like the other three and their English Postgraduate programs. I've received unconditional offers from all three. As with anything, each have their pros and cons. I've tried to peruse these forums in order to get more of the direct student "feel" and input about the general reputations of these unis. For instance, I've read multiple postings on this board about Goldsmith's being a really good school for humanities, but that New Cross is kind of "sketchy" and not all that safe. Queen Mary is perhaps the most prestigious of my current choices, but they don't offer much assistance (in terms of scholarships) for international students. Sussex is also excellent, but accommodation can be a nightmare. These are just a few examples of what I've read.

    So, is anyone willing to chime in with direct input about Queen Mary, University of Sussex, and Goldsmith's? And assuming I'm accepted within the next two weeks to either of the following (though I don't think I will be), I'd love to hear more student input regarding UCL, King's, and Exeter.

    Any help/insight that anyone can give me regarding these universities (their reputations, teachers, accommodations, work opportunities, etc.) would be greatly appreciated!
    Hi alycat,

    What area/time period are you interested in studying? The schools you are looking at have fairly different strengths so you should think about where your interests will best be served.

    I'm a UK student studying for my PhD in the US, so I have a bit of a grasp on both systems if that helps...

    All the schools you're looking at have really strong English departments, which I'm sure you are aware of , Sussex has a fairly critical theory influenced approach overall and is probably the most theoretically engaged of the departments you're choosing between; UCL is fairly traditional, both Goldsmith's and QM strike me as being quite international/worldlit/ comparative in nature...perhaps Goldsmith's more so. New Cross is really not bad, I like it a lot - my sister went to Goldsmith's and loved SE London, she had a really nice flat in New Cross which was really reasonable rent -wise; the East London line is fast and convenient and you're a bus ride away from Greenwich.

    Anyway - knowing your area of specialization would help with narrowing down which school is the best fit for you.

    Edited to add: I work in the C20th and C21st, so my perception of these departments is almost certainly influenced by that.
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    Not an American, but an Australian who is finishing undergrad in California and headed to the UK for grad/postgrad this year. What is your area of emphasis in English? From what I understand each institution has various strengths and specialties which you may wish to consider if you are planning to do a PhD in the future.
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    I would suggest you avoid London. Its a fun place to visit but living there is very expensive, and because your fellow students will live all over the place, socialising tends to be a bit fragmented - you can end up feeling very lonely.

    Cities like Bristol, Manchester, Oxford, Exeter, York, Brighton etc are smaller and a bit more manageable - they are more compact but still have enough to keep you busy. They are also cheaper places to live, and you will have a better sense of 'the real Britain' than being stuck in a London suburb.

    I dont know about the course (only you can judge that) but would recommend Uni of Sussex. Its a campus Uni and therefore has a good 'community' feeling to it. Brighton is also a fantastic place to live - especially if you are into arty things, theatre/cinema, fashion etc. Its close enough to London (50 mins on the train) to do things there if you want to and France is just across the Channel. Its an old English seaside town, now with two Universities so you get the best of both worlds - lots of 'student' things to do, but a historic town with a great sense of its own character, and the Prom is the best place in the world to walk on a summer's evening. If you are going to spend a year in Europe, Brighton would be very close to top of my list as one of the best, fun places to spend it.
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    Thank you all for the responses. It's a great help. While I've applied for general English Literature programs, I'm really leaning toward the Shakespeare's Studies focus for my MA in English--which narrows my choices to UCL and King's. Well, that is assuming that my interview with King's goes well and I'm offered a place. I still haven't heard back from Exeter.

    While I know the programs at King's, UCL, and Sussex are all outstanding, I'm also looking at the living situation/expenses, as I'd be overseas for 1 year. I have to consider logistics. Like Returnmigrant mentioned, I've heard from several friends that London was more expensive than they anticipated, and that finding accommodation was not always easy. I've also heard that both Sussex & Exeter provide "campus vibes" along with being excellent, well-regarded (and cheaper) universities. Making this decision is not easy, but I have faith in myself. I know I'll make the best choice for me.

    I cannot tell you how thrilled I am to read about all of your experiences and prospects for the future! I can feel the excitement through your posts. Like most of you, I don't know when/if I'll ever have this opportunity again, so I look forward to making the most of it! I can't wait to expand my personal & professional networks--especially with fellow American students who have sought an international experience for their higher education.

    Rubygal: To answer your question, I'm from the Midwest!
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    Im from the Midwest as well! But best of luck to you, trusting your gut is usually the best way to go!
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    (Original post by alycat)
    Thanks for the responses!

    I'm so excited because I just received an unconditional offer from UCL! I'm shocked and very excited. Also, I have an interview next week with King's! I'm hoping to receive an offer. But as it stands now, I've narrowed my choices to Sussex, UCL, and Queen Mary. I've yet to hear back from Exeter. It's so difficult to choose because, like rugbygal said, these universities are all excellent. Yet, they each offer something very different. I hope I make the right choice. I'm so looking forward to the experience of going abroad, earning my Master's, and making new connections.

    Best of luck to the both of you! I hope you get into the program of your choice!
    I did my MA at Queen Mary. Loved the uni and everything!
    Anyway, I was going to say check the course content before making a decision The course title might be the same, but the modules available can be very different.
    Also, although I'm not doing English... and it's not even in my school (English and Linguistics are in separate schools), I think QM is quite good in terms of research? Other good unis include York, Manchester, Sheffield, Oxbridge, St Andrews etc. Exeter is pretty good too (regarding publications and research income)
    Just some info for you, in case you want to do a PhD in English!
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    Hi alycat! I'm a fellow American also on the English/Renaissance Lit route! So far I've been accepted to Queen Mary and Bristol. Also for University of Edinburgh (but for creative writing). Waiting on KCL, you too still? I'm leaning towards Queen Mary because I think I would be more likely to get a part-time job during the year (hopefully) and I fell in love with London when I did study abroad there. Have you made a decision yet?
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    (Original post by tothelighthouse)
    Hi alycat! I'm a fellow American also on the English/Renaissance Lit route! So far I've been accepted to Queen Mary and Bristol. Also for University of Edinburgh (but for creative writing). Waiting on KCL, you too still? I'm leaning towards Queen Mary because I think I would be more likely to get a part-time job during the year (hopefully) and I fell in love with London when I did study abroad there. Have you made a decision yet?

    Hi tothelighthouse,

    Congratulations on your offers--you must be so excited!!!


    Well, I decided to withdraw my application from KCL because after speaking with one of the professors at some length, I determined that the program wasn't best suited for me.

    After my initial post to this board, I was accepted to UCL and Exeter. It was a really difficult choice. I was ultimately torn between Sussex, Queen Mary, and UCL. I finally decided on UCL and am really excited for September to get here! Queen Mary is outstanding from everything that I've researched, so I am thrilled that I even received an unconditional offer. Though I did not apply to Bristol or Edinburgh, they are both excellent choices.

    Like others have posted on these boards, it might come down to "going with your gut." This is particularly true for us since we are not currently in the UK to visit schools and do more hands-on comparisons. When all of the programs from which you are choosing have excellent reputations, you're in both a wonderful spot and a tough spot. Obviously it's wonderful that you are holding offers to complete desirable programs at respected universities. But, it's tough because you can only choose one. I'm sure you've already looked into other factors such as expenses, accommodation, support, travel, etc. Taking these factors into consideration, just go with the one that you think would be the best fit overall. Also, if you are considering a PhD, think about the program that may provide you with the best/strongest foundation.

    Good luck with your decision! Hope to hear about your final choice.

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    (Original post by alycat)

    Hi tothelighthouse,

    Congratulations on your offers--you must be so excited!!!


    Well, I decided to withdraw my application from KCL because after speaking with one of the professors at some length, I determined that the program wasn't best suited for me.

    After my initial post to this board, I was accepted to UCL and Exeter. It was a really difficult choice. I was ultimately torn between Sussex, Queen Mary, and UCL. I finally decided on UCL and am really excited for September to get here! Queen Mary is outstanding from everything that I've researched, so I am thrilled that I even received an unconditional offer. Though I did not apply to Bristol or Edinburgh, they are both excellent choices.

    Like others have posted on these boards, it might come down to "going with your gut." This is particularly true for us since we are not currently in the UK to visit schools and do more hands-on comparisons. When all of the programs from which you are choosing have excellent reputations, you're in both a wonderful spot and a tough spot. Obviously it's wonderful that you are holding offers to complete desirable programs at respected universities. But, it's tough because you can only choose one. I'm sure you've already looked into other factors such as expenses, accommodation, support, travel, etc. Taking these factors into consideration, just go with the one that you think would be the best fit overall. Also, if you are considering a PhD, think about the program that may provide you with the best/strongest foundation.

    Good luck with your decision! Hope to hear about your final choice.

    Thanks for the kind words! If you don't mind, may I PM you to ask you a few questions about why you chose UCL's program instead?
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    Sure!
 
 
 
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