I settled into life at Essex very well. I found the organization of seminars where you attend with larger groups of students, and then classes with smaller groups and teaching assistants helped me to be able to settle into the academic routine easily. Also, the freshers' fair where I was exposed to all the societies and sports teams that were available made getting involved fun and easy. If you're looking for a good university, with friendly students, great resources, loads of societies and sports clubs, all in a town that's not London, but not far from it, then I recommend the University of Essex.
I live in the University Quays. I fell in love with it the minute I saw it. The river right opposite the buildings created a calm and warming atmosphere especially during summer. University can be so hectic sometimes and walking across the bridge entering your room feels just like you're at home. The best memory will be the countless cook-ups we had during the year and the barbeques we had during summer.
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Read about our graduate and British Council Alumni Award finalist Jian Jiang who graduated from Essex in 2011 with a PhD in Computational Finance. He is the founder of ParkBee, a company which helps to eliminate on-street parking and lower congestion in the UK and Netherlands.
You can also watch hiswhere he talks about how he came up with the idea for his current company, and how his studies at Essex helped him along the way.