Bonita - AIM Overseas Cambridge Sciences

B Science
July 2019

My experience

I had always wanted to go on a global experience, however commitments during the term made studying overseas for six months unfeasible. Luckily, I discovered that UQ abroad offers the chance to attend Cambridge University’s International Summer School, which takes place during Australia’s winter holiday. Cambridge offers two-week intensive study courses in a variety of fields such as literature and science, along with various excursions, events and evening talks. This was very convenient for me, as the workload was quite low, the course was for-credit and I wasn’t skipping any UQ term time. Because of the short duration of the program, I was also able to do some travel beforehand.

How has the experience changed you?

I learned a great deal of independence, as I had never travelled without my family before. Living in a new country by myself, even though it was only for two weeks, required me to be proactive and organised. Unfortunately, for the first few days of the term I fell ill, which was a bit scary in a different country. I had such amazing support during this, from both staff and students, and the healthcare in Cambridge was of an incredibly high standard. I took a mixture of courses whilst overseas, both ones which related to my degree and ones from other disciplines of science. I found that they prepared me quite well for my courses back at home and in some cases even taught me more advanced concepts. I was given the chance to meet many academics from Cambridge and around the world, which was very valuable, particularly as a science student.

Favourite memory

My absolute favourite thing about my Cambridge experience was all the different people I met. Because it was a specifically international program, I made friends from all over the world. The academic, administration and college staff were all incredibly lovely and accommodating. I was also able to experience life at Cambridge, and I stayed in a college, which looked like part of Hogwarts, for the duration of the program.

Top tips

If you’re looking to dip your toe into an international study experience, or find out more about what studying and living at Cambridge is like, this is an amazing opportunity. As part of the program, you are able to stay in a college with meals provided, which takes some of the stress of studying in a different country away. UQ offers short term travel grants, as well as travel insurance, and the program is able to be covered under the OS Help Loan, which is something to consider if you're unsure about expenses. My degree is quite packed, so having a short two-week program during the holidays was a great alternative to a semester long exchange.