When thinking about travelling abroad, the UK is a typical destination. In the past I left my heart in Cambridge, where I’d already been a couple of times. I’ve always been attached to lovely and small English cities that combine green, lush landscapes with energetic city life.
So what comes to your mind when you think about the UK? Let me share with you my first three thoughts: tea, scones and the Queen. Kudos to you if we share the same thoughts, but this country has far more to offer than that. Studying abroad in Liverpool is a striking example; let me show you why.
My name is Johanna and I graduated from high school in summer 2017. Rather than going straight to university, I decided to embark on a journey that would broaden my horizons. My German teacher used to use this metaphor for explaining the themes in romantic poems. She called it an urge to travel to distant places – places that are unknown and often have a touch of magic that attract the hearts of travellers who want to escape from reality.
I chose to study abroad in Liverpool to improve my English skills at the Liverpool school of English during a 5-week course. Then I spent 5 weeks working on the IM Marsh Campus of Liverpool John Moores University in two different departments. The vibes at school were great. I enjoyed the classes with a mix of teachers who really took care of our personal and academic needs. Classes weren’t always given in the classroom but also at art galleries, museums and my personal favourite: cafés.
Besides being in class, the school offered many social activities that my friends and I enjoyed to the fullest: pizza nights, pub crawls and cinema trips were often on my to-do list, and guess what? I ticked them all off 😉
Liverpool is a great city if you enjoy nightlife and fun activities. It was unusual for me to see the young people’s dress code at night and the amount of alcohol that they consumed. After some time, I got used to that and enjoyed going out sometimes.
If you prefer to experience the city by day, you’ll find many museums that give you a big insight into the culture and history of Liverpool. I visited several museums such as the Tate Liverpool, the International Slavery Museum, the Merseyside Maritime Museum, the Victoria Gallery and last but not least, the Beatles Story. Some evenings I listened to Beatles songs played by musicians in the Cavern Club where the band had several gigs. I can’t recommend it highly enough.
On weekends I either signed up for trips to places like Chester or the Lake District or I enjoyed time alone with a book in lovely coffee shops, which aren’t rare in Liverpool. If you ever come to Liverpool, try the coffee at Bold Street Coffee, The Cow&Co Café or Coffee & Fandisha. 92 Degrees Coffee and Unit 51 are some other hidden gems. Delicious is an understatement, no lie!
Whoever thinks I only had free time is wrong about that. For my internship at the university, I worked from 9.30 am till 3.30 pm. I helped the admissions and recruitment team to enrol students. That meant helping during interview days, scanning many files and ushering at the graduation ceremony in the big cathedral in Liverpool. That was such an unforgettable event which was my highlight throughout this work experience. Overall, the work experience helped me to gain more work-related vocabulary and to increase my pace and fluency in the English language.
Here you can see me in front of the colourful spots in the hipster Baltic Triangle. Every person who might have spoken to you in Liverpool is easy to find on social media since this bird-mural is a must-do if you visit and a must-post on Instagram, Facebook, etc. In front of those bright wings we can experience what it’s like to be the symbol of Liverpool: the liver bird.
My stay in this city was unforgettable and I hope to come back one day and relive my memories. If you consider coming to England for a language experience, don’t choose the crowded city with the same starting letter as Liverpool. If you want to make friends easily and don’t want to get frustrated with traffic or are obsessed with soccer, you’ll make the best decision by studying abroad in Liverpool. I did!