UDA sat down to chat with University of Chester, Field Hockey player, Baylee Mueller. Below you can read through her experience at the university, some of her favorite experiences, and how UDA was able to help her achieve her goals.
what has your college life been like, and how is it different from your life in the US?
University in the UK is different from universities in the US in many ways. The biggest difference is how professors and the university view us. They see us as people who want to further their futures. The personal responsibility expected of us and freedom given to us has allowed us to mature and dig deeper into our studies, but also still gives us time to explore the UK and have a social life. Something different to the US is the amount of homework and class time. In my first year I had lectures three days a week, and this year I only had one lecture a day. There was also less homework or busywork—as I like to call it—compared to the US, which I think allowed me to focus on other things and dig deeper into topics that interest me. Another difference is that university in the UK is only three years as they expect you to know what you want to study right away. These three years are all about your major, unlike in the US where you have to take core classes that may have nothing to do with what you want to study.
What do you like the most about studying abroad?
Study abroad has been the best decision I have ever made. It has allowed me to mature, continue to play field hockey, study something that truly interests me, and it has given me access to a part of the world that I never thought I would get to see. I have also met so many people not only from the UK but from all around the world which has allowed me to learn about other cultures instead of the bubble that is the US. It has given me a different perspective on the world.
What do you not like about studying abroad?
A major drawback to studying abroad is that my family and friends are not as accessible as they would be if I were in the US. I have always been independent so I would say it was not as difficult to be in a different country, but for others, it is something to definitely consider when choosing to study abroad.
What are some experiences that have defined your college life?
Some of the most memorable experiences for me while at the University of Chester have mainly involved playing field hockey for the Women’s first team. The first would have to be when I became 1st team captain for the women’s team in my second year and was re-elected my final year. During my second year, I captained the team to a league title for the first time in several years. I took great pride in being a part of a team that could achieve this.
Another memory is when both the men's and women’s hockey clubs went on tour to Italy. We hopped on a tour bus early in the morning and drove from Chester all the way to Rimini, Italy. It was an amazing experience because it not only allowed me to see Europe as we drove through it, but also allowed me to be silly with my best friends and teammates.
Varsity is also another memorable experience. It is a day where we traveled to our rival university, the University of Salford, and every sports team played each other and had a big party together at the end of the day.
What has your athletic experience at the University of Chester has been like?
My time playing for the University of Chester field hockey team has not only allowed me to continue my love for the sport, but it has also given me some lifelong friends. Universities’ sports in the UK are as intense as you want to make it and compared to the US, they allow everyone no matter the skill level to participate. I made the 1st team my first year and captained the 1st team in my second and third year. Unlike the US, we play all year round which I love. We only train 3 days a week and game days for every sports team are on Wednesdays. Playing for the University of Chester has turned my teammates into a family.