1 University Attended University of Florida Feedback 1 INDUCTION/ORIENTATION PROGRAMME What did this involve, how long did it last, was it useful? As business students there are two orientations. The first is ran by the international office where they will give you general information on life in Florida, a few rules and contact numbers if in trouble. The business orientation was ran by Jason Ward who always went above and beyond for students. The information was really useful as they told us how to select courses and gave us an activity to get us to know campus and we got to meet plenty of the internationals. Just know you ll be outside for an hour at least and it s very hot! ACADEMIC EXPERIENCE Style of teaching, courses, ease of access to courses, methods of assessment, teaching support Selecting courses was difficult when you don t know the system and what they mean by electives and ones you have to take but generally if you pick the courses you like the look of Jason will let you know if they re okay and suggest an alternative if not. In general the courses are very different to Manchester. Over the course of the year all of my exams were multiple choice and there was regular homework. Attendance is expected, and in some cases can be a massive portion of the grade and an easy way to get points. There are also Smokin Notes for a lot of courses which aren t too expensive and are extremely useful if you haven t put much work in. The best course I took was Sales Management which was extremely practical and the aim was to teach about the real world. The focus was on a fundraising project where we had to raise at least $1800 for an animal charity and then giving professional business presentations. MBS INTERNATIONAL ADMINISTRATION SUPPORT TEAM Level of support, additional information that could have been useful All information needed was on the UG Handbook or in s sent out by the team, if not, s were always responded to quickly. MBS SECOND YEAR MEETINGS Any additional information that you feel could have been provided The meetings gave us all the information necessary and if not, the team were on hand to answer any questions. In particular, meeting those who have just come back from study abroad is really helpful. HOST INTERNATIONAL OFFICE Level of support, additional information that could be useful for future students Jason Ward was extremely helpful and loves to hear how you re doing and if there are any ways to make the programme better. Lyn was also great and helped me when I needed a letter for the meal plan services. INSURANCE, HEALTH COVER
2 Please include any information relating to the purchase of compulsory health insurance ie costs etc. or whether this was waived by having the University of Manchester Insurance Policy Florida was not covered by the Manchester Insurance Policy and the cost for the two semesters was just over $500. UF give information on what the requirements are and suggest several companies to look at. I got the cheapest coverage and just hoped for the best! INFORMATION ON ANY ADDITIONAL COSTS This should be information on any extra fees that the University charged but should not include accommodation, books, transport, visa etc. None that I can think of. ACCOMMODATION As much information as possible on what accommodation is recommended or not recommended. I lived on campus in Weaver which is half international students and half America, mostly freshmen. It s a big adjustment after living in halls in Manchester where there is no real authority, but in the US you have an RA. If you get a good one then that s great, if you don t like I did then you just have to stay out of their way. Nevertheless, it is definitely the best option as it s so easy to meet people, it s close to the dining hall if you choose to get a meal plan, and right by the football stadium. The other option is to live off campus which is where a lot of the older internationals live, however it is very hard to get around without a car or scooter so I would definitely suggest Weaver. DESTINATION INFORMATION AND OVERALL EXPERIENCE Transport, travel, social life, integration with local students, student activity groups It is so easy to make friends at UF, especially in Weaver, as most the internationals are looking to go out and travel. There are plenty of clubs in both midtown and downtown, most of them being 18+, but there are some only for 21 and the bouncers are definitely biased towards girls. You will also find some are full of sorority girls and frat boys, whereas others are much more like clubs back home. I spent the entire year underage and it was an adjustment, but it is doable! Clubs close at 2am which is weird, but it means it is a lot easier to go out and go to class. It s much easier to integrate with the internationals than the Americans, mainly because they seem so young and don t go out as much, but still great to get to know. The Navigators group is great to join as they give you a mentor and organise trips to Universal, Disney World, New Orleans and many more. It s hit or miss is you get a good mentor, but you will know people who get good ones and hopefully they will adopt you! I didn t do much travelling in first semester as football season took up a lot of weekends, but second semester we did a couple of road trips and most of the internationals went to Cancun for spring break. Just one thing about the meal plan: it is a two semester commitment. I managed to get out of the second semester by making a $1000 deposit into declining balance which was a lot of trouble to get out of. Make a commitment to cooking or getting the meal plan before you go so you can get the biggest fridge from the recycling programme in the basement of Weaver whilst you can. DESCRIBE IN ONE SENTENCE YOUR YEAR ABROAD I ve made friends for life, had unforgettable experiences and I am, and will always be, a member of the Gator Nation. Feedback 2 INDUCTION/ORIENTATION PROGRAMME What did this involve, how long did it last, was it useful?
3 The induction/orientation was extremely useful when it came to learning about the business school, where things were and how classes were run. It also taught you about the do s and don ts concerning the university. It was a fun and informal environment where you could get to know other business students, business mentors who can help you, and members of staff that offer all the advice and help you need. I would strongly recommend joining the Navigators as it provides you with an American student to help you settle in and show you around campus. My navigator in second semester became one of my good friends, and it s a good way to meet other American students and international students who aren t in the business school. ACADEMIC EXPERIENCE Style of teaching, courses, ease of access to courses, methods of assessment, teaching support I wouldn t be too worried about the amount and academic level of work, if you can pass second year in Manchester then you can definitely pass your study abroad year in Florida. Although the work isn t as difficult and the teaching style is similar to secondary school rather than university in the UK, all the lessons I took were extremely interesting and all of my professors made sure that I was settling in as an international student. MBS INTERNATIONAL ADMINISTRATION SUPPORT TEAM Level of support, additional information that could have been useful MBS were exceptionally supportive and helpful throughout the study abroad process. They constantly reminded us of deadlines which proved to be really beneficially in terms of selecting our courses and housing preferences. Thankfully I didn t have any issues but it was great to know that I would have had the support if one had occurred. MBS SECOND YEAR MEETINGS Any additional information that you feel could have been provided The second year meetings gave me all of the information I needed to know so make sure you attend them all, and its good to meet the people that will be going to the same university as you. I would say the most beneficial meeting is when you get the opportunity to speak to returning study abroad students, some of the information they gave me proved very useful. HOST INTERNATIONAL OFFICE Level of support, additional information that could be useful for future students The international office was extremely helpful and always there to help when there was a problem. In particular, they seemed to solve a problem before it even occurred like getting your DS form signed before leaving and entering back into America, something that s a must if you plan to do some travelling out of America during the year. INSURANCE, HEALTH COVER Please include any information relating to the purchase of compulsory health insurance ie costs etc. or whether this was waived by having the University of Manchester Insurance Policy University of Florida does not accept Manchester s insurance policy and so I would recommend getting the one that Florida offers. It s easy to set up, and having got sick quite a lot it was really handy to have as I could use the universities services without having to worry about how much it would cost. INFORMATION ON ANY ADDITIONAL COSTS This should be information on any extra fees that the University charged but should not include accommodation, books, transport, visa etc. Be prepared for the books cost as this is considerably higher than in the UK. However, there are groups that you can join on facebook to buy them cheaper or you can buy used ones from the university bookstore. I would also
4 recommend trading them in at the end of the year as this can get you quite a lot of money back. Travelling around the U.S. was a lot more expensive than I thought, wherever possible try and get a car and road trip with people. It s a lot more fun!! ACCOMMODATION As much information as possible on what accommodation is recommended or not recommended. I would definitely recommend living at Weaver Hall in the international dorms. Although this means conforming to certain rules that may be surprising, for example drinking in the presence of under 21 s is strictly prohibited, and living with American s as young as 18, it is definitely the easiest way to mingle with both international and American students. In terms of transportation it is a walk away from everywhere, and in the hot and humid Floridian weather the last thing you want to do is hop on a bus. I had a single room the entire year and I would strongly recommend this. My friends that did have a roommate complained all year about not having their personal space and just generally not getting along with them. Also if your roommate is under 21 then that means never being able to have a drink in your room. I personally did not get the meal plan and having friends who did, I would definitely recommend not getting it. You can pay $6 on the day if you re really desperate, but having been a few times the food is pretty much the same all the time. There s such great deals around Gainesville to eat really cheap food, and the supermarkets are an easy bus ride away. DESTINATION INFORMATION AND OVERALL EXPERIENCE Transport, travel, social life, integration with local students, student activity groups It sounds cliché but my year in the U.S. was life changing and the best year of my life so far. It took me a lot longer to settle in than I thought because the culture shock was a lot bigger than expected- so don t be put off. My advice would be to make the most of every opportunity over there because everything is an experience. Make the most of your weekends by organising trips away, I managed to see 17 states and Mexico while I was over there. Each state is like a different country but I think that s the best thing about it- be prepared to experience completely different cultures and lifestyles as soon as you cross a border. When you re in Gainesville don t be nervous to just go up to people and say hello, the Americans absolutely love it and the accent was always a conversation starter. The best thing about my year abroad by far was going to the University of Florida. The atmosphere is incredible and so are the people. If I were to do it again, I wouldn t want to do it anywhere else. DESCRIBE IN ONE SENTENCE YOUR YEAR ABROAD The most incredible life changing experience, and if I could do it over I wouldn t change a thing. Feedback 3 INDUCTION/ORIENTATION PROGRAMME The orientation involved going to 2 meetings, one for an hour or so and the other was more of an induction day which was a before and after lunch thing. Both were important to and worthwhile attending. I arrived at the University of Florida around 3 days before my Orientation in August, this was good because it gave me a chance to settle into my dorm, meet and go out with the other people living there before starting my courses. The orientation at UF was really useful because it gave you the opportunity to meet other international students in the same position as you. It is important to make friends with other international students because from my experience this is who I did all my travelling with, international students are eager to experience new things and make new friends and the orientation gives you the chance to meet everyone. Another reason why the orientation is useful is because it tells you about various important contacts and places around campus and introduces you to important faculty members. It also helps you to get to know the campus better as it is huge and can be daunting.
5 I couldn t attend the orientation in my second semester as I had other commitments but it would have been good to attend, mainly due to the reason many international students only do one semester and a new group come in for semester two so it is good to meet the new people. At Florida there is an excellent programme for international students called Navigators. You can apply and you will be assigned a Navigator which is an American student who will look out for you and help you out in any way you need. The Navigators as an organisation also organise cool trips for us Internationals to go on, Universal Studios and New Orleans to name just two. Definitely apply for a Navigator. ACADEMIC EXPERIENCE My academic experience at the University of Florida was different to what I was used to at Manchester but not as different to what I had come to expect. One main difference was that lots of courses, specifically in the business school, are online. So depending on your style of learning it s important to check beforehand. For some of the online courses the lectures aren t pre-recorded and you can attend them live which is what I often chose to do. Teachers in my experience were all very helpful, knowledgeable and interested in talking to international students. Most courses are on an online platform similar to blackboard, which is easy to use. From my experience generally I found the courses in America to be easier than at Manchester, methods of assessment are even more varied than at home and practical projects are often used. These can be fun but also time consuming. I chose to do 12 credits first semester and 13 second semester which was a good amount so I could experience other things such as joining clubs and traveling. I would recommend maybe trying new things, taking courses that sounds interesting and fun. MBS INTERNATIONAL ADMINISTRATION SUPPORT TEAM The team at MBS were always very helpful, fortunately I didn t have any problems or issues last year so I didn t need a lot of support but any contact I had I received a speedy reply and always with thoughtful and helpful responses. They were very helpful when I was choosing my year abroad destination and I believe that they chose the perfect destination for me. MBS SECOND YEAR MEETINGS I found it difficult to pick out specific things I think would have been useful from the second year meeting because generally most of the key information is included. One thing may just have been a list of helpful tips. Recommendations from past students about little things that can be stressful on your year abroad. Things such as mobile phones, what people did when they were there. I used a H20 wireless travel sim which was a monthly deal that gave me everything I needed. Also how to deal with your money. Some people set up American bank accounts but I found this long and complicated. I therefor used a post office my travel cash dollars card that I could top up from my English bank account at competitive exchange rates. There are various other things such as cheap airlines to go through which may be different for all destinations. HOST INTERNATIONAL OFFICE The International Office were very helpful and friendly. They were always happy to help and knowledgeable on things that international students may be affected by or need to do. They know a lot about the local area and things happening on campus and I think it would be a good idea to pay the office a visit when you arrive and talk to them about things you like and they will help you find those things and feel more at home on campus. INSURANCE, HEALTH COVER Unfortunately the University of Florida does not waive the purchase of the compulsory health insurance as it does not accept the University of Manchester Insurance Policy. I decided to go with United Healthcare for my insurance policy as this was acceptable cover to meet the UF policy, all together it cost around $1300 and covered
6 me to the 6 th of May. It s important to look at the details of the policy, there were some cheaper options but some would only cover up to a certain amount of money and with healthcare being so expensive in the US I decided to go with what I thought was the safe option. After the 6 th of May I was travelling so I had a normal travel insurance policy. INFORMATION ON ANY ADDITIONAL COSTS Meal plans are a thing at UF and most International students had one. I didn t have one because I was part of a Fraternity and I ate my meals there. Meal plans are expensive but very convenient and you get a lot for the money. To be honest I can t really think of many extra expenses as on campus most things are free, buses, gyms and facilities are mostly free. There were very small costs of getting student cards and activity cards for around $15. ACCOMMODATION As much information as possible on what accommodation is recommended or not recommended. I lived in Weaver Hall which is the International Dorm which is the only dorm that International Students can live in. I would most definitely recommend living in Weaver. You are in a dorm with 50% American Students and 50% International Students. This means you get to meet and live with Americans and also make friends with International students who are very proactive and up for fun. It is more reasonably priced than off campus accommodation. One thing that could be classed as a disadvantage is that you can t have parties or pre-drinks in the dorm as we can at home in Manchester but you mainly just go out to friends apartments or straight out to bars. This is because most of the American Students in the dorm are underage and they take underage drinking very seriously. I had a single room, personally I would apply for a single room because it gives you your own space which is nice. However, I do have friends that shared rooms and found it fine so it would not be the end of the world if you weren t to get one. It s in an amazing location right on campus and near to the dining hall and Football Stadium. It s a really convenient place to live. DESTINATION INFORMATION AND OVERALL EXPERIENCE Choosing the University of Florida was one of the best decisions I have ever made, it is a very special school that you feel proud to be a part of. In terms of transport Florida is a huge state and Gainesville where UF is located is 2 hours North of Orlando. When flying into UF I would recommend trying to fly into Gainesville regional airport which is a 15 minute drive from campus. It s a small airport but I flew there a good few times and connected in Charlotte, Atlanta and Newark. I say this because Florida is not like England, public transport is non-existent there are no trains and buses run from Orlando (about 20 mins from the airport) but not from Tampa and still you would prefer not to be making your way up from Orlando when you first arrive, it s far more comfortable just to fly into Gainesville, in my opinion. I did a lot of travelling in my year abroad, I visited 15 states as well as Mexico, The Bahamas and the Dominican Republic. Florida Airports are some of the biggest in the country and you can get cheap flights to most of the country. The key is booking in advance and checking flights from the various Airports. I again would advise flying from Gainesville if possible because it saves having to get to other airports. It can however be more expensive than the bigger airports so just do a cost benefit analysis. When travelling and needing to get to places i.e. Airports there is a Facebook page called UF Rideboard where people post where they are driving to and will take other students for petrol money. In terms of social life at UF there are bars in midtown but no big night clubs like at Manchester which takes some getting used to. Underage drinking is taken seriously and it is difficult for guys under 21 to get into bars but easier for girls. Greek Life (Fraternities and Sororities) are a big thing at UF. I joined one and loved it and made some friends for life. It s difficult to explain how it works but I would recommend going along at Rush week and visiting the houses. I would especially recommend it if you re under 21 as they throw parties and social events which can replace the need to go to the bars. The Navigator programme also always gets together a lot and do a lot together so that is also cool! There are over 900 student organisations at UF and I would definitely recommend joining one. There is pretty much everything you can think of. UF is a huge place with 50,000 students I think the key to a good year is making the campus smaller for yourself whether joining an organisation or playing a sport or getting involved in Greek
7 Life. These are great ways to meet American Students as well along with, I know it sounds simple, but actually attending classes. I would just recommend being proactive and making the most of everything the campus has to offer. Finally I would most definitely apply for Football tickets for the Fall it a truly incredible experience going to the games in the Universities 90,000 seat stadium. DESCRIBE IN ONE SENTENCE YOUR YEAR ABROAD A truly incredible year that I feel very fortunate to have been able to experience University Attended: University of Florida FEEDBACK 1 INDUCTION/ORIENTATION PROGRAMME What did this involve, how long did it last, was it useful? The orientation lasted 3 hours and happened the first day before class. It gave an overview of how to select classes, what the University had to offer and gave us an opportunity to meet our fellow exchange partners from across the world. After we completed the presentation we had a tour of the campus and from there had the opportunity for Q&A. It provided a lot of information and was sometimes a little cheesy with the singing of the Go Gators song but you might as well get used to it; that s America! The international office are pretty helpful but Jason Ward in particular is a great person. Anything academic related, he is most certainly the first man to visit and is easy to approach and talk to. ACADEMIC EXPERIENCE Style of teaching, courses, ease of access to courses, methods of assessment, teaching support The style of teaching varies from course to course but on the whole I found it to be more practical. In my first semester I specialised in Sales and Marketing courses, the workload had a lot of outside commitment but I felt that I learnt a huge amount. Americans certainly have a more developed view of Sales and Marketing and the style of teaching and classes that are given will certainly help. The Sales Management class had a lot of outside commitment; you have to raise $1,500 in you free time within 10 weeks; its not for everyone but it will develop skills. I thoroughly recommend Marketing Management to anybody who took Principles of Marketing in Manchester. Marketing Management helps you think in a more structured way and will develop your analytical, presentation and financial skills. In the second semester I took 4 classes as I felt I wanted to challenge myself; turned out that the workload was quite a lot more than I had deemed at first. Business Plan Lab was the most interesting of the classes I took, but I warn people that it is a LOT of work. The idea is to write a fully functioning business plan for the Gator Big Idea Competition; first prize is $25,000! If you commit yourself to it you will learn a lot. I recommend it for anyone who intends to set up or is interesting in starting a business, however, it really does take a lot of time, particularly if you do not have any team mates. MBS INTERNATIONAL TEAM Level of support, additional information that could have been useful I felt that the MBS international team had covered more or less everything I felt I needed to know before I arrived at Florida. Nothing seemed to startle me so on the whole a great job! MBS SECOND YEAR MEETINGS Any additional information that you feel could have been provided
8 Nothing in particular, they all happened a while back. But it wasn t as if I was constantly on the phone to Manchester during the Summer or once I had I arrived in America so no problems really. Just make sure you attend the meetings, get your US visa done early and sort out the paperwork. HOST INTERNATIONAL OFFICE Level of support, additional information that could be useful for future students Your DS2019 form is provided by your American University and is needed to be shown then entering and leaving the US. If you are going on a trip out of Florida, which is most likely the case because a lot of people hop over to the Caribbean at some point for a cruise (it s pretty cheap too - $200 for 3 days). You will need to go to the International Office to get the admin team to approve your request to travel. It takes around 2 days for them to log it into the computer and give you your form back, but it something to remember so there is no hassle on the border when you re-enter the US. Also remember to check your Gator more often, something that is easier said than done but a lot of information gets passed through there. INSURANCE, HEALTH COVER Please include any information relating to the purchase of compulsory health insurance i.e. costs etc. or whether this was waived by having the University of Manchester Insurance Policy The US does not have the NHS and hospitals take you to the cleaners if you don t have health insurance. There are a myriad of policies out there but you do not need to settle for the most expensive one that UF recommends you to buy. Read the small print and see what is necessary from UF for yourself but in particular look at the excess costs. It may seem like a hassle at first but buying the correct insurance can save you $500+. So do your homework if you want to save money, the extra cash can be spent on a trip to Las Vegas something that I wholly recommend. INFORMATION ON ANY ADDITIONAL COSTS AND FINANCIAL CERTIFICATION This should be information on any extra fees that the University charged but should not include accommodation, books, transport, visa etc. Any information that you had to provide on financial certificate would be helpful. Nothing comes to mind ACCOMMODATION As much information as possible on what accommodation is recommended or not recommended. Live in Weaver Hall simple. Its right on campus, so you are next to a 90,000 seater stadium, food court, student union, frat houses and all the sport facilities including tennis courts and swimming pools. All the facilities are free so why live anywhere else (besides the food obviously). You can live off campus but it is a nightmare trying to get back home after a night out. Even though Gainesville is not a big city, but it is very spread out so if you are living off campus you might as well have a car/scooter to make yourself save time and driving home drunk is obviously a no-no because the cops in America are everywhere and lay the law to the full degree. Besides convenience, living in a dorm environment is good fun. I lived in Owens Parks in first year and it has a similar feel to Weaver but it is a lot cleaner and less dingy. The only drawback for some people will be having a roommate, I was lucky my roommate and I got on like a house on fire but occasionally you might get someone not to your liking. But it is part of the College experience and Weaver has a great environment to kick start your year abroad. DESTINATION INFORMATION AND OVERALL EXPERIENCE Transport, travel, social life, integration with local students, student activity groups UF is one of the best if not the best Sports Colleges in the US; so the school spirit will shock you at first as being fake, cheesy and over commercialised. However, once you go to the games and start seeing your College own other teams on the field, the feeling around campus is infectious and you magically become quite loyal to the Gators. Gainesville has a regional airport which can be quite pricey to fly out of but there are plenty of bus routes
9 leaving the town going to all over Florida and Georgia. I travelled a lot during my first semester, you are around 6 hours from Miami, 2 from Orlando, 8 from Georgia and 9 from New Orleans. Go to as many places as you can and organise trips with like minded internationals who want to see the country. All you need to do is hire a car out for the weekend and hit the road. Living in Florida is a pleasure, it s a state that has a lot happening and a lot to do; beach life plays a large part in your time here if you want it to. The weather allows you to enjoy your year abroad fully whilst everyone else in the States is freezing their backsides off between November til February. Local students will flock to you and if are mildly social then you instantly have friends; initially they don t want to know you as a person they just want to hear you speak and have a British Friend! The myth/legend of having a British accent is true and people will tend to gravitate towards you. To the gents out their who are single you will be pleased to know that life in Florida is kind to you; so go ahead and milk it ;) DESCRIBE IN ONE SENTENCE YOUR YEAR ABROAD I would like to give a sentence of advice for the next student at UF: the year will go in a flash, so hit the road running and don t waste time thinking about whether you should do something; go for it. If you genuinely try everything at your disposal, you will develop as a person and by the end have a sense of fulfilment which is priceless FEEDBACK 2 INDUCTION/ORIENTATION PROGRAMME Jason Ward was more than helpful with assisting me with all the documentation. ACADEMIC EXPERIENCE I am more than pleased with the education system in the US. Classes are smaller so each student gets individual attention. There are assignments and exams all the time, however, they do not cover as much material as the exams in the UK, which makes it easier to get an A. All professors are accessible and are always willing to talk to you about the classes, your career etc. Attendance is part of your grade, therefore I would not recommend you to skip classes. For the exams there are the so called Smokin Notes, which are basically what you need to read to get a B in the class. If you are aiming higher, you need to read the books too. MBS INTERNATIONAL TEAM MBS International team were always quick to respond when I ed them about questions I had. There were s reminding us about the documentation that we need to do, which I found quite helpful. MBS SECOND YEAR MEETINGS I believe the second year meetings were comprehensive enough. Moreover, the meetings with previous exchange students added to the information already available about the University of Florida. HOST INTERNATIONAL OFFICE Level of support, additional information that could be useful for future students Jason Ward was always helpful and willing to discuss whatever was on my mind. At the actual international office, I found that most of the people who worked there were always grumpy and not really of much help. I avoided going there and communicated by instead. However, there are plenty of other people who are always willing to help so an issue rarely was left unresolved. INSURANCE, HEALTH COVER
10 I did my research and decided not to go for the health insurance offered by UF as I found it too expensive. Instead, I purchased ISO Med 1 insurance and I ed back and forth with the health insurance department to make sure it is approved by the university. It turned out to be about $ in contrast with the UF $1,200 one. INFORMATION ON ANY ADDITIONAL COSTS AND FINANCIAL CERTIFICATION I provided two bank statements from two separate bank accounts for my financial certification and the University still approved it. As long as you keep in touch with them and provide all the information, asking them if it is okay, you shouldn t have a problem with this document. As for any additional costs and fees, I don t think I had to pay anything extra. There is a free 200 pages printing per semester so that was a plus. The gym is included in the tuition too, so I didn t have to pay for it. ACCOMMODATION As I am more price conscious, I decided to live off campus. I did my research prior to coming to the US and chose two or three apartment complexes. I ended up staying at Gateway at Glades, which was $330 utilities included, half of what I would have paid if I chose university accommodation. The apartment was a 4/2, so four bedrooms and two bathrooms. The complex has a pool, a hot tub, a free tanning machine and a game room with a pool table inside. I would definitely say I got much more than I paid for. The place was about 20 minutes away from campus. DESTINATION INFORMATION AND OVERALL EXPERIENCE Buses in Gainesville are free so I did not have to pay for transportation. Travelling in Florida can be really cheap if you carpool, split gas with a few other students. If you are going with friends it will be cheap and convenient to rent a car. The clubbing and bar scene in Gainesville is pretty big. There is something going on every day of the week. There are many places that offer free bar from and reduced cover fee if you get on a promoter s list. The best way to mingle with local students is to join some of the numerous clubs and societies that UF has to offer. There is a club literally for everything, not only for your professional interests but also things like food clubs, knitting clubs etc. They organise various meetings and get-togethers which are often sponsored by the University. DESCRIBE IN ONE SENTENCE YOUR YEAR ABROAD An eye opening experience that taught me a lot about myself and my capabilities.