Why I chose to study in the USA

Laura Tunbridge, from Kent in the UK, describes how she ended up studying a degree in Film Studies at Yale University in the USA.

This time three years ago I never would have imagined that I would be studying at Yale University in America.

I had just left secondary school, and was ready to start my gap year after the disappointment of losing out on my first choice universities in the UK, despite achieving four As and a B at A Level.
During my year out I was able to take the time to really assess what I wanted in the future. I knew that I was going to reapply to my top university choices in the UK, but I had the urge to try for something more. I wanted to study in the USA.

After taking some time to consider not only why I was interested in the USA, but also whether I was eligible to study in the US with my British qualifications, I began the application process. By the time I decided to apply to study abroad, I only had three months left until the deadline. With that in mind I decided to limit myself to just one application. After much research and debate, I settled on Yale. Having never been to the States, I had to make this important decision based on what information I could find on college websites. Once the application was done and I had taken the SAT exam, I had no choice but to wait for the admission’s decision.

Laura Tunbridge is studying in the USA

“Studying at Yale has exposed me to an international community of peers and a wealth of opportunities”

After three months of waiting, I had convinced myself that I was not going to be offered a place and began preparing for study in the UK. Needless to say that when I received word of my acceptance I was so shocked that I had a panic attack! Being accepted to Yale has been one of the most unexpected and exciting events of my life thus far. Two and a half years on, I am half way through my degree and am loving every moment of my time at Yale and in the USA.

Yale is a liberal arts college, which means that students must study a range of subjects in addition to their major (their chosen degree subject). While this is daunting at times (I thought I could give up maths forever after my A Levels!) this academic freedom has provided me with so many incredible opportunities. For example, I began studying Spanish in my first year at Yale and last summer I was able to study abroad in Ecuador.

Studying at Yale has exposed me to an international community of peers and a wealth of opportunities. I hope to work in Los Angeles and continue to develop my interests in screenwriting after graduation before eventually returning home. While studying so far from home is at times difficult, it is most certainly worth it. I have no doubt that the people I have met whilst at Yale will continue to be in my life for years to come. For anyone interested in studying abroad, my advice would be to just go for it; you have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

Written by Laura Tunbridge (2011)
Student (BA in Film Studies)
Yale University (USA)