Richmond, The American International University in London is a private non-profit, American liberal arts and business studies university situated in the bustling city of London. The university is home to 1,500 students from over 100 different countries. With such diversity, the school is proud to say it truly understand the unique issues and challenges that international students may face.

SchoolApply interviewed Emma Oyomba, a Masters student from the United States, to learn about her experiences as an overseas student at Richmond.

Richmond, The American International University in London

Location: London, England (UK)

Student Name: Emma Oyomba

Age: 23

From: Connecticut, United States

Graduation: May 2019

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Quick-Fire Questions

Favorite class: My favorite class was Professional Digital Media Skills. We learned about everything related to digital media. From a social media project to GDPR to presenting to the Marketing Director of Jaguar-Land Rover and hearing from a Google and Merkle Periscopix employee, it was a fantastic and very practically-led class.

Favorite school event: The boat cruise at the beginning of the semester was my favorite school event. My classmates and I went on a River Thames boat cruise which had lovely views of London. It was a great event and a little different from all other events because we were on the water!

Five words to describe Richmond: International, Diverse, Helpful, Connected, Enjoyable

Tell us a little about yourself, in what places have you lived and studied?

I was born in Bangkok, Thailand but I have lived in Norwalk, Connecticut since I was four years old. I am, however, originally from Kenya. I studied primarily in Connecticut and then moved to Vermont for my undergraduate education.

I graduated from the University of Vermont with a BA in Political Science and a minor in Advertising. During my time at the University of Vermont, I spent a semester abroad at Richmond, The American International University during the spring of 2016.

How did you hear about Richmond, The American International University in London and what made you decide to study in England?

I decided to pursue my higher education in London and at Richmond mainly because I had studied abroad here previously and I loved the city and the school. I felt at home, but also felt like I was experiencing a different and enriching education and teaching system.

Did you have any problems adjusting to life in a new country and university?

Aside from the normal feeling of missing family, I did not have any problems adjusting to London. It is one of those cities where everything will become familiar to you within a week or two of being here, even the tube system!

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What degree are you pursuing and why?

I am studying for a Master’s Degree in Advertising & PR. My minor in college was Advertising and I had a lot of work experience in the field, so I decided to pursue a Masters in it.

Do your current studies support your interest and talent? If so, how?

Yes, my current studies support my interests and talents. It is not just theory-based, which is great. We learn a lot of practical things so I am able to incorporate some of my passions and interests into projects. I also love that we learned about digital media, which is something that I am very interested in.

What has your academic and social experience been like as an international student at Richmond?  

As an international student there are loads of things to do in a city such as London. The university will put on events throughout the year and students will go out and enjoy all the city has to offer. From all of the landmarks, nightclubs, famous pubs and restaurants, to museums and art galleries, one can never run out of things to do in London!

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What were your first impressions of Richmond? What do you think about the housing accommodations?

There are two campuses: Richmond Hill and Kensington. Richmond Hill is more like a community in the sense that everything you need is right there in one place (library, classrooms, dorms and cafeteria). In Kensington, you are right in the middle of central London. While all of the facilities are close by, they are not all connected. If you are not housed in Atlantic House (the main hub), then your accommodations will be 10-15 minutes away from the main campus. The accommodations are great and there is the option of getting a single room.

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When I studied abroad at Richmond the first time, I lived in Atlantic House. However, coming back as a postgraduate student, I opted to live in Courtfield Gardens. It is a beautiful building and I had my own little studio that was big enough for me to live happily. It had everything I needed – a kitchenette, bathroom, laundry downstairs, and a common room. For the summer months, I am living in Collingham Gardens, which is five minutes down the road from Courtfield and houses about 15 students. I have my own room, but share a really nice bathroom with three other girls and a large kitchen which has our washer and dryer in there as well. I have loved my accommodation as a postgraduate student!

What do you like the most about the new culture you are experiencing?

I truly like the international atmosphere that Richmond and London offer. I have met people from so many different countries, backgrounds and academic interests, and this  has really broadened my knowledge of so many things.

What are your plans after you graduate?

I would love to stay in London if I find an opportunity that would allow me to do so. If not, I will probably end up working in advertising or PR in New York City. If this happens, I would love to eventually return to London, maybe when I’m more stable in my career and more senior!

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How has Richmond prepared you for life after college?

Richmond’s teaching methods are both theory- and practice-based. A lot of the things I have learned in my courses have been directly helpful to my current internship. In the first semester, I learned how to write a press release and “sell-in” to the media and in my first week of work, I was asked to do both of those things. Now, two of the stories I pitched to news outlets have been published in FE News and the Evening Standard!

How has studying abroad changed you?

Studying abroad has changed me in so many ways. It has made me more knowledgeable and respectful of other cultures. It has made me worldlier, it has humbled me and allowed me to explore and experiment. It has made me more confident in navigating not only new countries, but new schools and work environments as well. It has changed my perception of the world and it has given me international connections as well as some friends that I will have for life.

What would you say to international students who are considering studying at Richmond, The American International University in London?

I would say that the school is truly international and that is the best part. The staff gets you, the students get you, and the professors get you. They are open to all cultures and are very knowledgeable. There are a large number of students from the Middle East, Africa and the United States. I have also met a lot of students from Italy, Spain and France. The university will help you with visas and everything in between. The faculty and staff are truly there to help you get to where you need to be.

I would definitely recommend this experience to others. Studying in London for both my high school semester abroad and my Master’s Degree were some of the best decisions I could have made. Studying at Richmond specifically has been such a treat, both academically and socially. I am constantly surrounded by diversity and interesting, driven people.

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