Rachel - University of Washington

B Science/Arts
Semester 2, 2018

Academic experience

I studied IMMUN 441, SOC 271, POL S 203, and PHG 200. I loved the lecturing style, the amount of office hours available and the quick turn around of assessment. At the start I did have a bit of a problem with the lecturing style at first but once I got used to it, it was so much better than at home. UW, I found, was quite an academic uni but it had amazing people because of it. 

The registration process was very different than at UQ, however I found it pretty easy due to their resources available. However one thing to note is that they have a limited class size! However they do have a resource that allows you to get notified when there is a spot free in that class by email or text message which I found really useful.

Personal experience

I gained so many friends for life as well as so much intimate knowledge of this city. I came to adore the rain and not be perturbed from going outside by it. Most of the friends I made were international, so I also have many new places to go! We traveled together, laughed together, and cried together and have such a unique experience of each other that no one else gets to have and you have so much more fun exploring with others. 

I found Americans work very differently to Australians so I learnt a lot of cultural things from them as well as my international friends that I think would definitely help me in the workplace.


I lived on campus in Haggett Hall. It was interesting living in a very old building but I found the dorm style quite easy to live in and it was relatively cheap compared to off campus. I had one roommate who was super lovely and I really enjoyed hanging out with people on my floor in our common room. The university only offers on-campus living with dining plans, which you can use anywhere on campus and is like a credits system. The university provides tv on your computers and you can sign up to Amazon Prime for 6 months for free which is great if you need to buy things or watch shows there!


I found most costs to be similar or a little bit more than at home. I always had to remember to add sales tax onto everything and to tip on food!

You pay a fee to the uni for unlimited public transport, which is like a step up from Translink, but still not that great. However it is super easy to take as you just tap your ID card on nearly all modes of transport, and you get great deals with others just by going to UW. My friends and I rented cars when we couldn't get decent public transport which wasn't too pricey for day trips. 

I felt travel was reasonably priced, anywhere you could go by bus was cheap (eg Canada and Vancouver) and depending on the time of year, flying wasn't too badly priced either. 

I did my exchange in $10,000AUD. I was somewhat frugal but I got to experience everything I wanted to and eat out 2-3 times a week (off campus).


My biggest challenge was living alone for the first time. I have always lived with my family so taking care of myself fully was very different. I overcame this through time, a few mistakes here or there, and calling home often enough that I felt comfortable being away.

Professional Development

I learnt a lot about different cultures and their nuances through my diverse international group of friends. I think I could now assimilate in an international workplace better and would love to work in a multicultural environment.


My highlights of my exchange were the friends I made (cheesy, i know) and the wonderful thanksgiving I got to experience through my wonderful host family. I got to learn and do so much through these two highlights that I am so forever grateful for.

Top tips

Rachel's 5 Udub Tips: 
1. The food on the Ave (actually University Way, but no one calls it that). I do not need to say more when you're sick of dining hall food. 
2. Do a home stay. It was definitely a highlight and so integral to my experience. 
3. Get used to Starbucks coffee - you won't escape it here. 
4. Get out and try everything. UW and the RSOs put on so many events and there is lots of free food!
5. The Husky spirit is amazing. Go to games, get into the culture, buy too many UW sweatshirts!