Nicholas - University of South Carolina

B Engineering/Commerce
Semester 2, 2018

Academic experience

I studied Civil Engineering Design, Highway Design, Open Channel Hydraulics, Pilates and Rock Climbing. I enjoyed most the concept of weekly homework that went towards your grade. This kept you on top of your work and went towards your final grade. The main challenge was the Engineering Design subject, this involved a lot of networking which proved challenging not being a local student. I overcame this by working closely with local class members to help with these networking issues. The enrolment/ registration process was fairly simple from memory. You selected the courses you wanted through the uni website and you were assigned to classes. If there were any restrictions, I went to the engineering school office and the staff would lift the restrictions.

Personal experience

I gained a number of new friendships through the exchange from many nations, I travelled to as many states as possible with these friends when there was spare time available. I also developed a better knowledge of the American way of life from the exchange.

Accommodation

I lived on campus. What I enjoyed the most was being close to the dining hall and engineering buildings, so there wasn't much walking required. I would advise to try and get accommodation next to your classroom buildings. The campus is large, and it can take a while to get to some buildings. The university has a housing department which will assist you with any living problems. There is also usually a student living on each level of on-campus accommodation who represents the housing department and is the most direct contact for you.

Costs

The food and housing costs were quite expensive, while transport was cheap as most things are close to the campus. Flights to other states can be quite expensive as Columbia airport is small. I would recommend budgeting $25,000.

Challenge

The largest challenge was probably sharing a bedroom with someone. I hadn’t shared a bedroom with someone since I was 6 and it took time to adjust. I overcame this by forming a great relationship with roomie.

Professional Development

I developed my skills in American etiquette which is surprisingly quite different to Australia. I can see this contributing to my personal and professional development while working or travelling in the USA

Highlight

The highlight of the exchange was probably whenever I was tailgating before football games. This was such a genuinely American experience and something I will probably never get to experience again.

Top tips

I would advise future students to save up. Also to enrol in the cheapest meal plan as this gave you enough weekly meals at the dining hall, while still being able to have some meals out. The biggest thing would be to try and form a good relationship with your roomie as you wont get to choose who it will be.