The Catholic University of America

Amanda Pellegrino - St Mary's University



Top Five Reasons to Select the Program

  1. Location, Location, Location: St Mary's University is located in Twickenham, a small town with a beautiful running path on the Thames river and fun bars and restaurants within walking distance of campus. It is also only one train ride away from Big Ben, Buckingham Palace and the rest of Central London.
  2. The People: The students at St Mary's are unbelievably nice and helpful. It is really easy to learn a lot from them and they are excited to learn everything they can from you.
  3. The Classes: St Mary's offers a variety of really interesting and exciting classes. I am very interested in creative writing and I was able to take a "Life Writing" class where you learn to take ordinary life experiences and turn them into compelling stories.
  4. The SU: The Student Union (SU) is the on campus bar. It's the perfect place to meet new students while also fully immersing yourself in the English culture by watching one of the many "football" games they play on a big screen participating in Trivia Night (where you join a team and get every question wrong because you know nothing about the details of English sports facilities or famous bands besides The Beatles and One Direction).
  5. Did I mention Location?: London is an amazing city where there is always something going on. There are a ton of free museums, festivals and markets, and St Mary's is the perfect place to get access to all of that, while still living on a green campus.


What I Wish I Would Have Known Before I Went


  1. Do not be afraid to spend your money. You will never get this opportunity again and in 10 years you will remember that amazing trip you took to Scotland, you won't be wishing you had those $300 back.
  2. Don't be afraid to ask questions. If you don't know what an "A Level" is or when exactly is the right time to say "cheers," just ask.
  3. It's more difficult than you think to talk to people back home. I called my family and friends when I was bored back at CUA, but because I didn't have an international phone, I could only Skype with them. Having to make appointments with my parents to talk to them was a very difficult adjustment.
  4. Stop converting pounds to dollars. You will never buy anything after you do the conversion.
  5. You cannot travel everywhere, but you sure can try! Basically every country in Europe is on my bucket list (Luxemburg included), so I was ready to travel everywhere. Well, it's impossible to do that within 5 months. As long as you prioritize your travels, then try to make it to as many places as possible.


A Funny Story or Situation


I don't speak any language other than English.

I went to Paris one weekend and tried to learn a little French. The weekend after that I went to Barcelona and tried to unsuccessfully remember everything I learned in 12th grade Spanish. And then the next weekend (and the last journey I made before coming back home) I visited Italy. After three weeks of switching between language and language, I went to Italy and spent seven whole days confusing every single language possible and not saying anything in Italian. I went from knowing one language to knowing how to say "please" "thank you" "wine" and "bathroom" in three different languages. It was a very confusing time and I was laughed at a lot.


The Teacher From Whom I Learned the Most

I learned the most from my "Life Writing" professor. We needed to submit our story so he and the class could discuss it and give feedback on it. He was always very honest and helpful when it came to critiquing my writing, which was something I had never had done before. He also was very open about what kind of content we could submit to him for a grade. It was writing about life and he encouraged everyone to keep it as real and truthful as possible.




I lived in DeMerillac Hall on campus. Everyone gets a single and a small bathroom. The room has a bed, a nightstand, a desk, a few bookshelves and an armoire. I would completely recommend this dorm because it is so easy to meet other study abroad students and British students, while still giving you your own space.

Student Profile:

Major: English

Hometown: Douglaston, NY

Program: St Mary's University

Term Abroad: Spring 2013

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