Meet Grant Mackenzie

Hanging out on a rooftop
As a student studying Business Management, I wanted a taste of business in the most pro-business country in the world....

US University: San Francisco State University
US University Website:
US State: California
Level Of Study: Undergraduate
Length Of Study abroad: Short-term
Field: Business
Course: Business
Region From: SW England
Hometown: Plymouth
UK School/University Attended: Swansea University
Years Abroad: 2010 - 2011

From staying a fortnight in the stunning Fisherman’s Wharf hostel while looking for a house, to a road trip down the California coast in a Ford Mustang, the best year of my life began in August 2010 as excitingly as it ended in June 2011.

In between, San Francisco State University (SFSU) offered top-quality teaching within their outstanding campus, offering all the facilities and extra-curricular activities a student could hope for. Appropriately for the city in which the United Nations was founded, SFSU’s International Education Exchange Council (IEEC) is one of the largest and best organised in the world, offering regular trips to all the best sights and sounds of California as well as constant opportunities to engage with students from truly diverse backgrounds.

Of all my experiences abroad, I’d say that skiing down a mountainside in Lake Tahoe was the most memorable (an event organised by the IEEC). Or perhaps it was hiking in Yosemite National Park (also organised by the IEEC)? No! It was cruising along Highway 1 with the top down in a Ford Mustang with my best friend. 

My student visa allowed me to work in a San Francisco Public Relations agency as ‘Academic Training’ for my business degree. It was an opportunity which not only gave me some extra cash in my back pocket and allowed me to do things I otherwise couldn’t have afforded to do, but an altogether different perspective on life in the city. The work experience has also proved to be an immensely valuable asset on my CV!

You’ll need to be of good academic standing to be considered for studying abroad, so don’t think you can doss about for your first few years at your home university. Knuckling down while others are partying may not seem like fun, but your experiences abroad – wherever they may be – will absolutely make up for it. But watch out for the price of textbooks in the US, because they’re extortionate! They’ll cost you a few hundred dollars, so put some money aside before you leave.

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