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My Harlow Campus experience: Expectations vs. reality

Student Life

By Nicole Noseworthy

When I got accepted to the Harlow program for the 2018 winter semester, I felt indescribable joy.

I remember being in high school and hearing about the Harlow program when I decided I wanted to study business. I fell in love with the idea of studying at Harlow, a little piece of home in England.

Commerce student Nicole Noseworthy at Memorial's campus in Harlow, U.K.
Commerce student Nicole Noseworthy at Memorial’s campus in Harlow, U.K.

The main reason I was excited about studying at Harlow is that it is a unique education experience.

I anticipated that learning in Harlow would be different from studying at the St. John’s Memorial campus, because different areas of the world all have different styles of education.

So far, I have learned how to adapt to that, and I believe I have gained a larger understanding of education abroad just from these two short months.

Exceptional learning experience

I have learned about topics that I would have never even thought about had I not come to Harlow.

The grading system in the United Kingdom is different from what we are used to in Canada. For example, a mark of 50 per cent in the U.K. is equivalent to around 70 per cent in Canada.

This can be discouraging at first, but as long as you work as hard as you would at home, you will adapt to the grades. And remember: they get converted back upon return to North America.

“Wherever I go and whomever I meet, I am proud to tell people I am a Memorial student.”

The struggle of getting used to the grading system is worth the exceptional learning experience.

Wherever I go and whomever I meet, I am proud to tell people I am a Memorial student. I fill with pride while talking about my home and getting people interested in visiting Newfoundland and Labrador and thinking about Memorial as a post-secondary option.

Representing Memorial and Canada has been just as exciting and rewarding as I knew it would be, perhaps even more so. People love Canadians and a good conversation always starts with “I’m from the most eastern place in Canada.”

I expected to be asked all the time where I am from and why I am in Europe based on my accent. I quickly realized that there is a large mosaic of cultures here, especially in and around London.

People hear Canadian accents all the time and it’s not as rare as an English accent is in St. John’s. So as much as I like to brag about Memorial, the opportunities to do so can be rare (but believe me, I jump at the chance).

A new perspective

There is something to be said for being able to grow as a person while being immersed in a new culture.

I believe that as a global citizen, it is my responsibility to understand the world outside of the bubble I’ve always known.

I don’t think there could be a better way to develop my personal and academic portfolio than by attending school at our very own little piece of Memorial in the U.K. with 18 fellow Memorial students sharing a similar, but unique, experience.

“I believe that as a global citizen, it is my responsibility to understand the world outside of the bubble I’ve always known.”

Since coming here, I feel that I have grown more than I ever imagined possible before coming. I have already experienced so many new cultures and I am just getting started.

I knew coming here would help shape a new perspective, but I didn’t realize just how much of an impact it would have on me as a student and a human. I think more globally now when it comes to business, values and my future.

The past two months have surpassed all of my expectations. I have gotten to know classmates whom I’ve never spoken to before. I have learned about topics I would have never thought about before.

I have gained knowledge that is important for both my degree and life, and perhaps most importantly, I have learned a lot about myself.


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