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On this program, UNC students directly enroll at the University of Essex for a semester or academic year for an opportunity to fully integrate into the academic, social, and cultural life at Essex. You may only apply as an exchange student. You will take courses alongside degree-seeking students, have access to student housing, and participate in all aspects of student life.
The University of Essex is a campus-based university built on 200 acres of rolling parkland at Wivenhoe Park in Colchester. Essex has a long history of welcoming international students and hosts approx. 12,000 students from more than 130 countries. In a recent Research Assessment, Essex was ranked ninth nationally for research excellence and re-confirmed its standing as the UK’s top social science university.
Originally a Roman settlement, Colchester is considered to be the oldest recorded town in Britain. Though steeped in history, Colchester offers all of the amenities one would expect from a modern town with a wide range of dining, shopping, and entertainment options. Additionally, the village of Wivenhoe is less than a mile away from the campus and features a lively waterfront with a variety of pubs and restaurants. The surrounding countryside has been an inspiration to many famous artists - from Thomas Gainsborough and John Constable in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, to Francis Bacon in the twentieth century. Colchester is home to over 100,000 people while the nearby village of Wivenhoe hosts just over 8,000. Both towns are easily accessible from the Colchester campus and provide a wealth of options for dining, entertainment, and sight-seeing. For students interested in exploring on the weekends, Essex has excellent road, rail and air connections with the rest of the UK. From Colchester, Stansted Airport is just 45 minutes away and London can be reached in less than one hour by train.
UNC students at Essex are fully integrated into the university and have virtually the same range of classes to choose from as British students. Essex is made up of three Faculties, all which offer subjects available to study abroad students:
Faculty of Humanities
Faculty of Science and Health
Faculty of Social Sciences
UNC students will attend courses offered at the Colchester Campus. All subjects taught at the Colchester campus are available to study abroad students provided students meet any necessary pre-requisites. In particular, Essex may be a good fit for students interested in studying Exercise and Sports Science, Sociology, Psychology, Political Science, and History. View the full list of available subjects and restrictions on the Essex website.
The British Education System
The British educational system positions students to be more independent and pro-active in their learning. Rather than multiple assessments throughout the semester, students may be graded only on a final essay and/or exam. Students may find that they are spending less time inside the classroom, but the expectation is that they will spend increased amounts of time engaged in independent study. While this system may prove challenging for U.S. students, many students thrive on the freedom to direct their education and welcome the exposure to a Graduate School-style approach.
Courses in this program are Transfer Credit. Transfer Credit Courses (not taught by UNC Faculty): ACTION REQUIRED
Essex guarantees university housing for students attending the full academic year. Essex student housing is self-catered meaning that your housing provides shared kitchens for student use. There is a major supermarket within walking distance as well as various cafes and eateries on and around campus. Accommodation for semester-only exchange students is more limited and therefore not guaranteed, though Essex will provide resources to help students find off-campus housing.
Review the Budget Sheet posted above for detailed information on costs and fees. Costs vary per term and are subject to change.
Tuition and fees for the exchange program is equal to UNC’s rate, based on NC residency status, and will be charged to the participant’s UNC student account. Review the Budget Sheet for additional Cashier Billed Expenses and Out-of-Pocket Costs. The Study Abroad Office strongly encourages students to budget carefully for their time abroad.