Twins Paradox: What English Universities can learn from American ones.

Here at Notre Dame, the big thing that struck me on my first day
was that everyone was wearing Notre Dame branded clothing. There
were so many people walking about in ND sports wear, I thought there
must be a huge contingent of varsity athletes making up a high
percentage of the university. But what dawned on me was that it was
the normal thing here, to be proud of being part of your University,
to be proud to be involved and be getting involved in it. This
wasn’t just the athletes wearing the gear. This was everyone as a
University being proud to be part of a community, helping each other
grow. People join different groups for their enthusiasms but these
groups never seem to be separate and clique-y. The reason? Because
it’s all part of Notre Dame University community and no matter what
you do, as long as you get involved, you will get the best out of
your time!

The other thing that was very noticeable was the emphasis on alumni
and giving back to your University “family”. People here are
encouraged to give back to the university that gave them 4 years of
life lessons, encouraged to send their families here, encouraged to
form a big community that lasts long after they have left. This
creates a sense of belonging that not only is brilliant for
personal growth, but is amazingly beneficial to Notre Dame as an
entity and a brand. Everyone knows that any team, business etc. is
built on creating a community of followers.

While I love Surrey, it is interesting to see the differences.
While there are loads of different groups, societies and sports
clubs to join, it seems that for some parts, they are their own,
separate entities that don’t have massive amounts of contact with
other groups. And as for the students, I feel (compared to Notre
Dame) that there is a bit more of a sense of just getting what you
want out of University and not getting involved with activities that
will further things other than yourself. Obviously, compared to
Universities in England, I think Surrey is very good at this and is
one of the reasons I loved being there so much! But being in America
has upped the level completely.

Thinking about it from any view, there can only be benefits to the
American way. For me, the best thing about going to University is
getting involved in clubs, getting interested in what I can do for
the Uni, finding like minded people. This is the only way you grow
as a person. As for the University’s view, by creating this communal
atmosphere, they make a huge, virtuous circle which drives onwards
and upwards in snowball fashion.

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