I'm an overseas students planning to study English at London University. I've heard that both Royal Holloway and Queen Mary are achieved in the department, and am currently struggling between the two. As quite an academic-oriented student, my main goal in studying abroad in the UK is to pursue my passion for literature and my love of the English language, so I don't mind being holed up in my room or setting up camp in the library for seventy percent of the time, researching on literary works and typing up essays.
From hitting up different forums, I've discovered a lot of differences between life in these two universities, but not so much in the quality of teaching and what students are like. Can someone who is studying English in either university please shed some light on this? Are professors dedicated and enthusiastic? Are lectures engaging? How is the teaching quality? And I'm also looking to find a group of like-minded students who share the same passion and interest in literature as I do, so what are the students who study English like? Spirited? Academic-oriented? Serious about their studies or laid-back? What is the general atmosphere in the department like? I would be very grateful for any insight, especially if there is comparison.
English language aside, I'd also like to know about the community in these two universities. As an international student, I prefer a community with warm, friendly people who are accepting of different cultures. I'm not a huge socialiser, but I do like to make friends. To really depend on and bond with though, a close circle of friends is enough for me. I've read in forums that people in Royal Holloway tend to be "snobs" , but I have no idea if this is true. I'm not quite sure what people in Queen Mary are like though. Also, the general vibe RHUL gives off from what I've read is a kind of detached community, not in terms of location but in terms of relationships with people, but QM students seem to really enjoy the social life there. Oh, and RUHL threads say that English students tend to not feel really included in the general student body in events and things. To me, the way the student described them, they sounded kind of like lonely outcasts. I have no idea if any of this does either university justice, and apologise in advance if any of it is completely untrue, but it's just what I've read. I'd really appreciate it if someone could offer insight.
In terms of safety and night life, I don't drink at all and steer clear of pubs at night. Is RHUL a better campus for a non-drinking environment? Some people complain that the night life there is too tame, which sounds great to me, but others say that there are close to no non-alcoholic nights or events, which doesn't. QM seems to have a vibrant night life which I don't think I'd enjoy much. Of course I could always stay away, but I feel as if it would be very difficult to blend in and socialise if I did that. Also, some people have described the area in which QM is located as "dangerous". Is that true?
Although it's not a huge thing, food and accommodation do matter. I prefer living in an unshared dorm room and eating healthily. Again, not a huge thing, but I'd like it if someone could give some pointers in the differences in the universities.
To me, the ideal university is one with a safe, homely environment, a nice, sociable and close-knit community with people who are open to making friends with people of different cultures, an ambient, studious atmosphere while not neglecting fun in events, and most importantly spirited students in the English faculty and great professors who are devoted to helping you achieve the best you can. I understand that there is probably no such place, but I would love to know which university, RHUL or QM fits better. If they are both very different from my expectations, I might study in my home country. The fees are not exactly low, as we all know, especially when studying in London as an overseas student, and I really want to get what I hope to before making such a big decision.
Any advice at all is much appreciated and will greatly assist me in making a very important choice in my life. A huge thank you in advance to anyone who helps out!
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