Back to uni (in Glasgow)

So it has been a long time since I last stepped into a lecture theatre in Glasgow (probably close to 18 months) and not a lot of things have changed. With my course in particular the subjects that I have to do in Scotland are 3rd year subjects so I have found myself back in class with very few of the faces of old. It hasn’t really been that much of a big change back to uni in Glasgow as nothing much has changed apart from the people I am now in class with. It so worked out that because I did such a busy year abroad I only have 5 subjects to this year including as dissertation so that has worked out fairly well for me. The department has been very helpful in keeping me up-to-date with dissertation submissions and advising so I’m not very far behind everyone else.

It has been weird coming home and adapting back into life in Scotland but now I’ve been home a few months it just seems as if I’ve never been away. I thoroughly enjoyed the majority of my time away and am so glad that I took part in the exchange program as it has changed my outlook on things for the better but that has now gone and reality has kicked in and now there is just one year left at uni and then the working world awaits which again offers new challenges and experiences.

Back Home

Ok, so I have been back home for a week now and it’s really bizarre. I’m struggling to come to terms that I’m going to have to spend another year at Glasgow after being away so long it almost feels like I’d left that place for good. To be honest since I’ve been back it has been quite fun catching up with family and friends again and as a lot of them have been away it has been really good hearing their stories too.

I’m quite glad to be back home this summer because the Australian winter was getting kind of annoying as there wasn’t much sun kicking aroud and it got dark at 5 o’clock but I really will miss the place. I wish I had done some more travelling when I was away but given that you are working so hard at uni there isn’t much time during term time and I came home at Christmas to secure an internship so I might have missed out there but now I have friends that I can go visit whenever I want and so I will definately make the return trip to Oz sometime in the next few years.

It has been pretty class being away but everything has to come to an end sometime and I’m glad to be back and I can experience mates’ 21sts and such like but I’ll always hold special memories of Brisbane.

The End

Ok so I can’t believe it is all over. This term has gone so fast. I must be one of the last to leave for home since I checked the website the other day and the new bloggers are already getting carried away but I thought I’d some up my experiences anyway.

If I’m honest when I came home at Christmas I was wondering whether I wanted to come back as first semester didn’t really go as I had wanted. I think I just didn’t get settled or used to being away from home but I can safely say now that it was the best decision I have ever made. I have had an absolute brilliant time this semester and made some really good friends who I can say I will definately stay in touch with. I think the difference this semester was that I got more involved in Australian life and enjoyed it a lot more. Last semester I didn;t take advantage of all the opportunities but this semester it was different. I made a lot of Australian mates through the rugby club and so I got invloved in the culture a lot more. The culture was primarily one of the main reasons I decided to come to Australia and in my first semester I didn’t really experience it as I was friends with a lot of internationals (which isn’t bad) but you can feel like an outsider and a bit of a tourist. But making friends with the locals has been great fun.

I do regret not having travelled more but the terms are long (13 weeks of classes) and places are quite far away so you need a few days but it isnt a major deal to me because I know I’ll be back whether it be visiting friends or coming here to work so I know I’ll get to see everything I have missed this time around.

Any final words… yes, please if you have the chance to do exchange do it and if you do I would highly recommend Australia because its absolutely sick. I kind of don’t want to come home but it will be great seeing friends and family again and it is getting slightly colder here now so I want a tan from whatever sunshine Scotland has to offer.

Mikey x

6 weeks left!

6 weeks left and I honestly can’t believe how quickly the year has gone. It seemed like only yesterday that I set out as a wide eyed Glasgow boy not having a clue what to expect. I would say this semester has been much better than last (maybe it is because I know what to expect). Student life is brilliant out here. There is always something to do and there are so many like minded people who just want to make the most of their time out here.  I’m not going to lie that you have to work hard out here if you want to do well and you shouldn’t expect it to be a holiday all the time. However, when you do get time off it pretty much is a holiday and a great one at that.

I still have another 6 weeks to go (3 weeks of teaching then 3 weeks of exams) so you do have to get ahead with your work but to be honest I can’t imagine any better place to come and study. The way of life is just so chilled out over here and I fully recommend Australia and Brisbane in particular.

If anyone is coming to Brisbane soon or is thinking about Australia feel free to get in touch. Hope all is well with everyone and all the other ambassadors are having a great time too.

Mikey

Life in Brissy

Hey there,

Another month on and Oz is still going good. At the moment I’m in the middle of my mid-semesters when everyone back home is doing their finals which is kind of wierd. Since last time I blogged easter has come and gone and now its starting to get cold out here. Yeah i know I’m calling mid twenties cold. I have changed.

Easter was fun but quite uneventful as my money transfer was delayed so I was having to do everything at cost but it does allow you to see what great things there are to do in Brisbane for relatively little cost. I quite quickly realised I wasn’t the only one low on funds so there was a good crowd kicking around Brisbane so there was lots to do. I pretty much spent my time at the “fake beach”. They like to call it a lagoon but its pretty much just as big swimming pool with sand in Southbank but pretty cool nonetheless and I did get to top up the tan. Quite a few people also went away, a few friends went to Fiji where they had an awesome time so if you can go further afield I would urge it but there is always Gold and Sunny coast within an hours train ride away.

Since uni started back again its been kind of the same as living back home. I’m routinised again with classes all week and living for the weekend which is pretty good out here. Last week I went to see the rugby where the Reds beat the Bulls which was really good to see and can be done relatively cheaply at $22. The week before I went out for a rugby social thing was equally good so there is always something to do you just need to get involved in something that interests you. The uni has so many clubs its should be easy – anything from beach volley ball to triathalons you can do anything. Even for the non sports, there are plenty events. In the business school I attended corporate cocktails with many employees of big accounting and financial services firms present to ask questions but equally have a good night.

Yesterday, I attended to study abroad fair here and was pleasantly surprised to find so many aussies wanting to come to Scotland or those who are already coming in September this year. Australia and Scotland are so different, for example UQ had its centenary at the weekend Glasgow Uni must be approaching its millenia in comparison. But thats what exchange is about – going somewhere new and different and the experience has taught me so much. Luckily I stilll have a few months to go but its still weird to think about going back to Glasgow and sitting in classes back there.

Michael

Semester two

Hey there,

So I’ve been back in Oz for about 4 weeks now and have settled back into life quite easily. To be honest there’s not much new to report back on. Classes started again and I feel its slightly easier this term knowing what I’m getting myself into. Luckily enough a few of my mates stayed out here over summer and so finding a place was relatively easy yet still stressful from the UK but eventually we found somewhere that is really close to uni and quite fairly priced. So if you’re planning on being home for xmas try and sort something out before you come back because it makes everything so much easier.

Met a few more Australians this semester because I’ve joined the rugby club here. Its very different from back home and I’m still getting used to running around in temperatures that would normally be associated with sitting on the beach and not doing a lot. I also got really badly sunburned the first day and am still peeling because of it so you really do have to slip slap slop because even though its much more pleasant than back home its really not worth it. I find rugby is a really easy way to meet like minded people and so i would recommend joining a club or two when you arrive.

I have Mid-semester break in a couple of weeks not really mid-semester at all but easter so hopefully I’ll get my life in gear and something sorted for that so there are a bunch of opportunities to travel whilst you’re here. I know this is quite short but there isn’t much to report that you probably don’t already know. Any future students to Australia especially Queensland, if you have any questions just get in touch.

Michael

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.