Zhiwei - University of Bath

B Business Management
Semester 2, 2019
Exchange is truly a life-changing experience for me! Just go and you will never regret your choice!

Academic experience

During my exchange in Bath School of Management, I took the full load of 5 courses, including 4 major-related courses and 1 British Studies course. I would highly recommend the British Studies courses, which are exclusively designed for exchange students. I was recommended by a previous exchange student from UQ myself and found it enjoyable so much! It gives you an overview of British history, Shakespeare, British modern society, etc, and helps you meet so many other exchange friends in class as well! 

The study load of 5 courses seems to be scary at first, but the British academic system is quite different to UQ, usually with a higher weight on final exams and less teaching hours, which somehow made me more chilled than in UQ. Therefore, it would be smart to look through the assessment details before planning your enrollment. The enrollment process was quite smooth and the staff from Bath international mobility team was incredibly nice and helpful. 

I feel really lucky that I have chosen University of Bath as my host university for exchange. It is not only one of the best-ranked universities in the UK, but also has a wonderful community atmosphere. Students I met here were extremely nice and hardworking, happy to help with any "fresher confusion". The university also has a great reputation in sports engagement, both for societies and facilities. I would highly recommend joining sports clubs and societies, you won't regret it!!

Personal experience

This exchange experience really opened a whole new world to me. The first ever thing is the friendship with people from all over the world! I met so many like-minded friends and embraced the cultural difference all the time. Everyday was living in a global village and surrounded by different people and languages, laughed and surprised by the fun cultural facts. I even started to learn French inspired by this beautiful language and my French-speaking friends(by the way, University of Bath offers free language courses! Definitely check it out and they can do not-for-credit).

Another great thing is the travelling experience. During my 5 months exchange, I have been to plenty of places in the UK as well as Europe. There are so many cities to visit just in the UK, all the places I have been to, such as York and Edinburgh, were absolutely amazing in both cultural and natural perspectives! As for Europe, the flight fare is so affordable that it makes your getaway even easier. I have been to Ireland, Netherlands, France, Spain and Italy, every journey was truly a gem of my life!


I lived off-campus in a student accommodation called Thornbank Gardens, which was managed by the university and for exchange and graduate students only. I loved my room here and had my own ensuite bathroom, with a great location near the city centre and railway station. Staying in student accommodation means you could always meet new friends and easily find your study buddy, therefore I would recommend this option over private housing. Generally, living off-campus allows you to explore the local experience and catch the intercity transportation easier.


I spent 3000 pounds on rent and 150 pounds on a term bus ticket. Other than that, my monthly expense was approximately 550 pounds for things like groceries, meals and drinks. Bath is an expensive city, but also very student friendly - try to ask whether they do student discounts in stores and pubs!! In addition, there are so many ways to save money, like bringing your own coffee cup and taking advantage of the meal deal at campus cafes!

Travelling cost was actually a big part of my total expense, as except the flight tickets, everything else was very expensive, such as train, airport shuttle bus, accommodation. I would recommend always keeping an eye on the Skyscanner app for the best flight deal and plan carefully before going. If you intend to explore a lot within the UK, getting a youth railcard will definitely help with the train cost.


The biggest challenge I faced was the feeling of being on vacation and lack of study motivation sometime. I am a really travel person myself and always want to visit as many places as I can. To overcome that, I took some time to organise and balance my exchange life and decided to stay in the library on weekdays to finish study tasks and hang out or travel with friends on weekends. By this means, I managed to maximize my exchange life:)

Professional Development

The top things I developed during my exchange are probably my communication skill and confidence. I am an international student in UQ, but I didn't really get a chance to push myself out of my comfort zone. Going for exchange in a brand-new country provides me with an amazing opportunity to rediscover myself and understand myself better, giving me a clearer idea of what I want to achieve and pursue. All those varied and wonderful experiences I went through in such a short time really benefited my independence and confidence growth, with a more open and peaceful mindset facing the world.


The highlight is definitely all the people I met during the exchange. Now I have friends from all over the world and still keep in close contact with them. Exchange is probably the only chance for this kind of complete and in-depth cultural experience.

Top tips

1. Plan your study carefully. Try to enjoy the new study environment and don't let it become a burden at the end!
2. Always be open-minded and get involved in the events coming on! Say yes and try new things that you have never done before.
3. Travel as much as you can. There are so many things to visit and explore in Europe! Everything is so close to each other but still very different from place to place.