Erica - University of Glasgow

B Science
Semester 2, 2019
My exchange was an extremely fun time where I developed important life skills.

Academic experience

My academic experience was interesting throughout my exchange. UQ was extremely helpful especially the Abroad Team, however, I had a lot of trouble with meeting University of Glasgow’s requirements. I didn’t have many courses left in my degree which made it very difficult to find courses as I didn’t have many electives to choose from. All of my original courses were rejected by UoG very late while I was travelling and it was very hard to get in contact with anyone from UoG to sort this out. I ended up enrolling in Human Life Sciences 3A in the first week of semester. This one subject equated to 8 UQ units which meant the grades from only one subject contributed solely to the semester mark which put a lot of pressure on my performance. The content wasn’t much different from UQ but the learning styles were very different. There was a massive focus on PBL which took a lot of adjusting, but once you immerse yourself in it, it’s very effective and enlightening. Assessments during the semester didn’t have a focus on the content we were learning (more reflections or PBL assignments) so all content learned from the semester was tested in the EoS exam.

Personal experience

I developed so many great relationships with other exchange students as well as local students. It was such a great experience to be able to develop my understanding and respect for different cultures, religions, beliefs and personalities. It was great to get to know people from my accommodation and during my uni course. I now have life-long friends from all corners of the earth and from all walks of life.


I  lived in Murano Street Village which was about a half an hour walk from the university. Murano isn’t the nicest accommodation, however it is a very social and fun place. There was always something going on and everyone was very willing to meet new people. I was in a flat with other exchange students and we all bonded with the neighbouring flat of local students. It really allowed me to make the most of the social aspect of my exchange semester.


I travelled around Europe before starting university. I spent a lot more money than expected on this trip which meant I had minimal money to last during the semester. Because of this, I wasn’t able to do as many weekend trips as I planned but this gave me an opportunity to really immerse in Glasgow culture. In saying this, I was still able to travel to so many places including Amsterdam, Ireland, Spain, Germany, and Paris with cheap and short flights. I budgeted well by walking places instead of taking public transport, being smart with grocery shopping, and minimising spending when going out. It took some organisation and commitment but I really made the most of exchange without exorbitant amounts of money. The Student Exchange scholarship was a massive help and I am so appreciative of that money.


The biggest challenge for me was balancing my social life and academic life. As someone who wants to get into medicine, my marks from exchange were included in my GPA. With time management and effort it was possible to achieve relatively high marks while still making the most of the social activities.


Professional Development

My exchange experience instilled the value of interacting with people from all backgrounds. This is extremely important to contribute to and be apart of a cohesive society. Solo travelling and living across the world without an easily accessible support network taught me important life skills such as perseverance and independence.


The highlight of my experience was the travel I was able to do around Europe. There’s so much diversity and culture, and I had the best time travelling to so many countries.


Top tips

I would advise students to organise the academic logistics as much as possible when you’re home. It makes it very difficult with time differences to sort this out when you’re over there. It can cause a lot of stress in the first few weeks of semester which is a crucial time to build relationships and attend social events.