Pitamber Singh - Georgia Institute of Technology

B Engineering/Business Management
Semester 2, 2018
Take me back to my exchange semester

Academic experience

I had the opportunity to undertake some interesting courses like Wind Engineering, Heat Transfer, Design and Manufacturing, System Dynamics and Structural Vibrations at Georgia Tech.
The teaching methods were very different, more practical and hands-on, small scale classes promoting teacher-student interactions which I personally enjoyed. Typically, they like to ensure you’re on top your classes, with weekly homework, assignments and ‘mini-exams’. This process helped me learn and understand my courses much better and improvement was visible in my results over the semester.
The enrolment process was fairly straightforward, and similar to UQ. Although, local students are given first preference, therefore, having additional courses approved prior to the start of the exchange is highly recommended just in case you don’t get your desired course.

Personal experience

Over the semester abroad, I made some life-long friends and met some interesting people from various industries. I had the privilege to cheer Atlanta United to their league victory, and enjoyed going out and experiencing different cuisines, particularly spicy chicken wings (Atlanta popularity). Additionally, I was fortunate to travel around, mostly on the East Coast and visit some of the iconic places in the U.S. I also visited my best friend in New York during the mid-term break, was invited for thanksgiving in Chicago and dusted it in the American way, walked along the famous Bourbon Street in New Orleans and finally celebrated my exchange journey in Miami.

Must-do: When you're in Atlanta you definitely give Chick-fil-a a go! It’s the most popular local fast food chain.

Accommodation

I was very lucky to find a unit just 200 metres off campus, having to pay much cheaper comparatively to every other exchange friends of mine. It came along with a pool, en-suite furnished room with a balcony and a parking lot (although I didn't own a car). I would recommend checking 'Georgia Tech (GT) Subleases, Roommates, Housing & Apartments - Atlanta' Facebook group for options.

Costs

Groceries and household products cost were fairly similar to the prices in Australia, however eating out and other entertainment could cost you a lot more overall. However, depending on where and how you choose to go, I believe it is possible to manage with USD$1100 - USD$1300 a month including rent. Additionally, it is highly beneficial to utilise and get involve in free Uni organised events.

Challenge

Biggest challenge would be the options of flexibility study style. You are required to take notes every single class, slides are not available and therefore notes are not uploaded. If you miss a class, you could fall behind easily, and this was something I was struggling to adapt to coming from UQ where everything was recorded and can catch up on lectures in my own personal time.

Professional Development

I have gained educational knowledge and personal experience, learning to work in a team-based environment, collaborating with students from a diverse background. One of the most motivating things were the career driven stories when you hear during the interactions with your fellow classmates. They have high determination and passion to achieve big goals and strive to be the best in what they do in life. Learning from their work experiences, activities they were involved in motivated me and pushed me to do the same and aim for the top. Altogether, I gained people skills, learnt about various cultural differences and most importantly, motivation and determination are something I really captured.

Highlight

Cheering for Atlanta United, and watching them crowned Champions of the East Conference was a unique experience. Additionally, college football games every weekend was another unique experience, the passion and support from the students and everyone involved were just incredible to see. Traveling was another highlight, being able to see unique cultures and lifestyle across different parts of U.S.

Top tips

Exchange is always a good opportunity to meet people from different background and make friends from around the globe. Having said that, be prepared to make an incredible use of your time in the U.S., make the most out of this opportunity UQ Abroad has given, not all students get this opportunity. It is a life changing experience I experienced, and I can tell you, you’ll never regret making this decision.