- Course: BSc Economics (Int)
- Year of graduation: 2017
- Location of year abroad: University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA
I spent my year abroad at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The city itself is the capital of Wisconsin and as a result is towered over by its grand and imposing state Capitol building, a replica of the Capitol building in DC and only 3ft shorter.
Leading up to the Capitol building is State Street, a vibrant street flanked by bars and restaurants that leads directly down to the university.
Madison can be bitterly cold during the winter, however this does not represent the people of Wisconsin. They are warm and welcoming and have truly made my time here wonderful. Furthermore, although cold in the winter, Madison is never grey or miserable and when summer does arrive I could hardly think of a better place to be.
Madison has two lakes either side of it, Lake Mendota is absolutely beautiful and having the privilege of being able to go for a swim or a sail in between classes is something I will miss terribly. During my free time I pledged a fraternity - Chi Psi - and have made lifelong friends I am certain I will see again. Joining Greek Life really added to my year abroad and I have had some great experiences that I would have otherwise missed out on.
In addition to joining a fraternity, another of the most memorable aspects of my year abroad has been the opportunity to travel during our time off.
In my first semester, I flew to DC twice to see some friends on an internship there and over Thanksgiving, two friends from Leeds and I rented a car and road tripped down to Nashville, via St. Louis, across to Asheville, up the Appalachian Mountains (which were absolutely stunning) to Philadelphia, and then back across to Madison via Pittsburgh and Cincinnati.
Over the Christmas break I was fortunate to travel again to New York for Christmas; Miami for new Years; then to Houston, New Orleans, LA and San Francisco. Finally, I spent Spring Break in Cancun.
If I had the opportunity, I would do it all again in a heartbeat.
I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Madison. The university itself is one of the best public universities in the world. The teaching is superb and I have really enjoyed having the freedom to take classes not available to me at Leeds. Moreover, Madison is a huge sports town and being able to experience game days and March Madness has been unreal!