By Morgan Halane
I’ve been at Lancaster University for a few months now, and it seems like every day I experience something that strikes me as so different to my life at Mizzou that I make a note to remember it. On paper, Mizzou and Lancaster have a lot of similarities. Both are campus-based research institutions which are highly ranked in their respective countries. Both have large libraries, on-campus housing and pretty spacious campuses. Only by living here can one really appreciate the differences between the two. While a campus-based university, Lancaster is not really located in the town of Lancaster. It’s set out in the country, and most students take the bus in order to reach the town. Because many of the students on campus are also international students, and since I’m on the campus most of the time, I sometimes find it hard to believe that I’m in England until I actually go into the town. Mizzou is located right in the middle of Columbia, and students can simply walk across a street and be downtown. This isn’t the case here in Lancaster, and I find that a little disappointing because I feel disconnected from British culture sometimes.
Another huge difference between Mizzou and Lancaster is that Lancaster is broken up into different colleges. After the summer program I was placed into Cartmel College. The college you’re placed in is where you live and socialize. I guess it’s kind of like the houses of Hogwarts in the “Harry Potter” series. There seems to be a lot of rivalry between the houses here, and I still haven’t come to terms with that because back home everyone is a Mizzou Tiger and our rivals are other universities like Kansas. The udergraduate colleges at Lancaster are Cartmel, Bowland, Pendle, Furness, County, Fylde, Grizedale and Lonsdale. The colleges are named after different locations in the Lancaster area, such as Grizedale Forest. I’ve been told there are stereotypes about students in each college, such as Bowland is the athletic college and Cartmel is the quiet college, but I don’t think there’s real evidence for this. Lancaster University itself wasn’t founded until the 1960s. I find this very interesting because Mizzou was founded in 1839, much earlier. It feels strange to be studying in England, a very old country, at such a young university. In the end, I like that Mizzou and Lancaster are so different. It will make my study abroad experience all the more memorable.