Thomas - University of Bath

B Laws/Commerce
Semester 2, 2018
Exchange is a necessity for anyone looking to push themselves, and is an amazing experience.

Academic experience

I studied a wide variety of courses including E-Business and Contemporary Issues in Accounting and Finance. I enjoyed being able to focus on the commerce side of my degree and apply principles I had previously learnt to a different economy, in this case, the United Kingdom. Some of the challenges I faced were being placed in slightly more advanced classes than I was prepared for, and I attempted to overcome this by seeking help from other students. The enrolment process was fairly straightforward, except for one subject. I simply emailed the relevant people and explained how important it was that I was enrolled in the course. They were very understanding of this and helped me a great deal.

Personal experience

The greatest thing I gained from the exchange was a  number of friendships with people from a variety of different countries. Furthermore, learning to travel, both in a group and solo, taught me a number of different skills including perseverance and tolerance.

Accommodation

I lived off-campus with two other roommates. I enjoyed being housed with other exchange students, who were from a range of different countries, and being able to constantly have friends to hang out with. My advice would be to try and make friends with the people you will be in close proximity to, and to learn to develop patience when things may be testing, such as cooking etc. The university were extremely helpful in helping us settle in, and throughout the semester.

Costs

In my experience, I found that the UK was quite expense, especially relating to rent and food. Travel is not too expensive, provided that you are able to budget and are prepared to be economical. I would recommend that students save up roughly $15,000 AUD so that they are able to do all the things that they want to do, such as travel, without having to constantly be worried about running out of funds. Therefore, students should save beforehand and plan as much as they can!

Challenge

The biggest challenge that I found on exchange was dealing with homesickness. I am quite a homebody hence why I felt I needed to go on exchange. I was able to overcome this as best as I could by firstly attempting to stay busy, through sport and travel, and than by surrounding myself with a great group of friends. This is why I feel that it is imperative that students make friendships with a range of people.

Professional Development

The ability to work with different people was probably the most important professional skill that I developed. The UK is truly multicultural and hence there are people from a number of different cultures and backgrounds. Being assigned different groups for assessment tasks meant that I was interacting with a range of people that I may not normally have the opportunity to do so. Hence, I needed to adjust my style of communication and I felt that this has greatly benefited my ability to work in a team.

Highlight

Playing sport for the University of Bath, the friendships I made and the ability to travel.

Top tips

Be organised, have a budget, and try to plan everything in advance. Mostly, have fun!