Hamish - University of Bath

B Commerce/Economics
Semester 2, 2019
An opportunity like no other!

Academic experience

Before embarking overseas, you are required to research the courses offered in Bath and match them to an appropriate UQ subject. Once several options are approved by UQ, you select and nominate these courses to the University of Bath. The registration process at the university was well organised and the academic staff were very helpful in assuring you were signed on to the correct courses. Whilst in Bath I studied four courses: Managing finance in a multinational company, E-business, Principles of marketing and Introduction to politics: theory and analysis. Most full-time students at the university study five subjects during a semester, however some subjects can be worth more credit than others. Initially I was expecting the courses to be smaller in content and assessment although most courses are similar in terms of required workload to courses at UQ. The university placed a lot more emphasis on essay-based assessments, with all my final exams being this structure. This change in assessment took a while to become used to as studying for them can be quite different and you are required to learn content from the course as well as perform individual research to cite and form an argument with.

Personal experience

The exchange experience gave me the opportunity to become more independent and comfortable whilst in foreign environments. Previously I had not travelled alone overseas and am now more confident exploring other countries and being in foreign situations by myself. I was lucky to know two other UQ students on my exchange and during the semester we travelled to various places throughout the UK and Europe on weekends and within the holiday periods. I was amazed how easily and affordable it was to book a flights, accommodation and head abroad for the weekend! The transport system is much more developed and makes travelling very simple. Throughout the exchange I also had the opportunity to forge many friendships, both with Bath locals and other Europeans.


I stayed off-campus in Pulteney Court - a university-managed accommodation block for exchange and post-graduate students. The accommodation was self-catered, and you were responsible for cleaning and keeping a good standard in your flats. University staff maintained all the facilities and were helpful if there were any issues you encountered. I was in a 3-bedroom flat with a shared kitchen and bathroom, with roommates from the Netherlands and Spain. I was very fortunate to form good friendships with my roommates which made sharing facilities like pots and pans much easier and more enjoyable. As the building was self-catered, your timetable was much more flexible as you were not required to be in the building at specific times for meals. I would recommend for anyone heading to the University of Bath to stay in university accommodation and to stay within town as it allows you to form much stronger friendships. By the end of the experience, students in surrounding flats were my closest friends. It also makes heading out and organising social activities much easier.


When you first arrive in the UK everything will seem very expensive! It is tempting to convert items you buy into AUD however you quickly learn to stop as it can drive you insane. Food and alcohol are similarly priced to Australia however you will notice restaurant meals and some transport options are very expensive in comparison. Bath is an expensive city so you will most likely pay more for some things than in other places throughout the UK. I would recommend budgeting as much as possible for your exchange. The whole experience is made a lot better by not having to worry about money and not having to say no to things because you cannot afford them. Inclusive of flights, accommodation and a reasonable amount of travel, I spent around $20,000 AUD during my 6 months overseas.


For the first few weeks whilst settling in Bath I found it challenging to adjust to student lifestyle. Most Bath and exchange students do not work regular jobs and have a lot of spare time. In comparison, I had come from working 3 days per week and studying full-time at UQ so having a lot of extra time was a shock. Further, I initially found it hard to find common ground with some of the exchange students as their life experiences are often very different to what we have been exposed to in Australia. However, all of this was quickly over come as I met more people and became more involved in university life.

Professional Development

The exchange program has enabled me to become much more confident in approaching unfamiliar situations. I now feel more comfortable when introducing myself to new people and starting conversations. I am sure this will bode highly beneficial throughout future personal and professional development.


I was lucky enough to have my parents travel to the UK for 2 weeks in October. It was fantastic showing them around Bath and the university as well as spending time with them in London. I also had two workmates from Brisbane completing a secondment in London and Birmingham respectively. I spent time with them on New Year’s in Edinburgh and they also travelled to Bath for a weekend.

Top tips

For anyone considering an exchange in the future, my advice would be to grab the opportunity with two hands! The experience that is offered throughout the exchange program is unique and unlike anything else you will have the opportunity to complete in the future. The ability to meet and form friendships with people from all over the world is incredibly beneficial and something that only students on exchange have the chance to do.