Temple University in Philadelphia is a perfect place to study for anyone wishing to do a year abroad. Going to a university in a major city can sometimes mean that the university buildings are spread over a wide area, something I was initially worried about, but Temple’s buildings are compacted into a beautiful campus in the Northern part of Philadelphia.
The campus is marked out by the cherry and white Temple flags hanging from every lamp-post and the numerous food trucks parked on the site – one of the aspects of the university most loved by the students. A very high majority of Temple students either live in on-campus housing or in off-campus housing in the streets immediately surrounding the campus. This means meeting people and socialising is really easy.
Whilst studying is an important part of your year abroad, the life experiences you gain are definitely of equal value. So, when picking a university to study abroad at, my main advice would be to look at firstly, the type of classes you could enroll in and secondly, the type of social life the university would enable you to have. Most universities in America will allow you to take half of your classes outside your ‘major’ subject, but may limit the departments you are allowed to pick from. Whilst at Temple, I have been able to take a History class, a Fine Art class and even a Media Production class alongside my Art History major, which has been an invaluable opportunity different to my UEA modules.
From my experience, I think the social life that studying at Temple University offers is outstanding. Firstly, Temple has about 30,000 undergraduate students (in comparison to UEA’s 12,000) so there are automatically a lot more people to meet. There are a huge range of societies and clubs, including Sororities and Fraternities. However, Greek Life is not as big at Temple as it would be in a more self-contained campus, further away from a major city, meaning it is just as easy to socialise outside the confines of ‘Greek Life’ if you so wish to.
Being quite a large university, Temple fields teams for most major sports. If you are interested in university sports and the social life surrounding the games, then research your university choices. In my opinion, it is an aspect of the American university experience that you definitely do not want to miss out on.
At my first Temple football game, there were around 30,000 students and alumni in the stands, creating the most amazing atmosphere. The tailgate – where thousands of students, alumni and parents descend on the parking lots surrounding the stadium before the game to have food, drink and celebrate – is equally as fun too.
Being a student at Temple not only means you are involved in the university’s social events, but you are also located in the heart of Philadelphia – a major American city. Philadelphia is one of the most historically important cities in the United States and, whilst it contains many fascinating museums and tourist sites, the city also has great bars, shops and restaurants, making the centre a great place to be a university student.
Lastly, Philadelphia is incredibly well located on the east coast of America. New York City is only 2 hours away on a bus, and Washington D.C. is only 3 ½ hours away – even quicker if you pay a bit more and take a train! Whilst Philadelphia is great in itself, being able to visit other important cities with ease has been an amazing part of studying abroad at Temple and really allows students to make the most of being in America.