Semester One

Ok, so it has been a while but I just thought I’d fill you in on what has been going on in the last month or so. I arrived back in Scotland about 3 weeks ago following my exams in Oz and now have a 3 month break or so before I’m due back out at the end of February. Thought I might as well some up my experiences from the last 4 months so here goes…

First of all Australia is an awesome place. Just everything about it was class – the weather, the way of life, the people etc but I’ve got to be honest there were times when uni was getting right on top of me and i missed friends and family back home. I think future study abroad students should be much more aware of how different a new uni can be. This threw me a bit, it was probably down to subjects but my classes were huge (I had 550 people in my finance class) and so it can be quite hard integrating with classmates. Also no one attends tutorials so quite often I was in tutorials with 2 other people and sometimes fewer so you can often feel isolated. I was lucky enough to make some good friends in orientation week and so I was ok but I know it worries people as it did me when you first go over. The chances are that if you go on exchange you’ll be the right kind of person to meet people and you won’t feel alone. Even so, I felt there weren’t many other opportunities to meet folk outwith “O” week as the uni ran very few events. This is probably due to the massive numbers of international students (there were 424 from china alone) and it would be impossible to cater for these huge numbers. Maybe this is just a point to be weary of when applying maybe smaller unis might suit some people better.

However, saying that the facilities and teaching at UQ was class. I actually really enjoyed everything I learnt. Granted, I had to get used to 8 a.m. starts on a wednesday but it was fine in the end. Australia has some amazing sights and a lot of must sees if I’m honest I probably didn’t see as much as I wanted to first time around but there are plenty of chances next semester. I forgot to take photos when I was out there but the uni is amazing just looking at it on the first day gave me shivers so I’ll get that sorted when I head back out there.

If I’m honest I can’t wait to go back as it is cold, wet and miserable back here but it has been really good seeing all the mates again but I can’t help feeling that if I hadn’t done this I would be sitting in Glasgow for the next 20 years. This experience has taught me so much about myself and changed my outlook on life as there is so much of the world that is unexplored and if you have the opportunity you should grasp it with both hands.

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