Victoria - University of Bath

B Business Management/Economics
Semester 2, 2018

Academic experience

While at Bath I took three management courses and two British Studies courses. The British Studies courses are exclusively for exchange students and I would highly recommend them!! The courses I took were on Shakespeare and British History, respectively. These classes were quite small, so they were very interactive and really helped me to make friends with my fellow exchange students. They also usually don't have final exams in the final examination period, which alleviates some stress during that time.

Personal experience

I met so many amazing people from all over the world while on exchange. Also, living in England means you are so close to so many different countries. I travelled to 19 countries, a few of which were Greece, Croatia, Hungary, Germany, the Netherlands, France, Scotland, Spain and Portugal. It's amazing being able to travel for only a short time (and for only a small cost) and be in a completely different place.

Accommodation

I lived in Thornbank Gardens while studying at Bath. I would really recommend this accommodation. It is more expensive than some other living options, but the rooms have ensuite bathrooms which are spacious and include a bath, shower, large sink, toilet and plenty of storage space. The kitchens, which you usually share with about 8 people, are large and are cleaned at least once a week. It's right around the corner from the bus stop which takes you to uni and is about a 5-10 minute walk from the city centre and a large Sainsbury's.

Costs

I budgeted $20,000 for this trip, considering the amount of travel I did. After my OS-Help Loan and a $3000 scholarship I received, this meant I only had to save about $11,000 myself. After paying for my accommodation in Bath, I only spent about 1500 pounds in Bath (on things like groceries, phone bills, transport and weekend trips, etc). I would recommend cooking for yourself rather than ordering food and taking lunch to uni with you - it saves a lot. If you do buy food at uni, I would recommend buying a Munchbox. In the fountain canteen between 2pm and 2:15 they sell Munchboxes, which is a box that you can fill with a bunch of different foods. If you bring your own plastic container it costs 2.75 pounds.

I chose to purchase a semesters' ticket for the bus to uni, which cost about 199 pounds, but I went to uni almost every day and the walk to uni is up quite a steep hill so I think it was worth it. You can also buy single, monthly, or term tickets.

Also, if you are planning on travelling by train in England, I would recommend buying a 16-25 railcard. It costs 30 pounds, but it gets you 1/3 off the price of any train. Mine had already saved me at least 30 pounds by the time I had gone on three train trips.

Challenge

The biggest challenge I faced on exchange was being homesick. Just sitting at home studying all the time or watching Netflix only makes this worse. Make as many friends as you can, whether you play board games in someone's kitchen, go down to the pub with some students or go to a World Cafe organised by the International Students Association, engaging with other students will improve your exchange experience so much. 

Also, the uni has a group called the Bath Erasmus Network (or BEN) which organises a bunch of events for exchange students. I would definitely recommend going to these!

Professional Development

One of the Management courses I took inspired me to do an Environmental Management Masters degree.

Highlight

The highlights of my exchange experience were getting to meet so many new people and travelling.

Top tips

While on exchange - whether you decide to go to Bath or somewhere else - travel as much as you possibly can! There's so much to see, and everything's so close by in Europe, so my advice to you is to take full advantage of that!