Abbey - Queen Mary University of London

B Arts / Laws (Honours)
Semester 2, 2022


I have wanted to go on exchange since I was in high school. Once applications for exchange opened up again post-Covid, I jumped at the chance.

Personal development

London is a fun, ever-changing city. Living in a new country was a rewarding experience that has left me feeling more confident and self-reliant. There’s always something new to see and do, fun nooks to explore and new cafes to try. I was also able to explore other parts of England such as Bath and Brighton. Living in London means that you are merely hours away from another country and going on weekend trips to Rome and Paris were easy and affordable. Exchange is different for everyone, so make sure you know what you want to get out of yours. Rail strikes happened frequently during my time in London so it was sometimes simpler to book a day trip to places such as Windsor Castle or Stonehenge instead of having to navigate six trains that might not even be running on the day. I used Tripadvisor to book mine. 

This experience wouldn’t have been as amazing as it was without all the people I met. Bonding with flat mates over card games, going on a rooftop bar tour of the city with uni friends and visiting markets with friends are all memories that have made my exchange such a fun and memorable experience.

Academic development

I attended Queen Mary (QMUL) in Semester 2 from mid-September 2022 till January 2023. I completed three subjects while at QMUL: Family Law, Competition Law and Law in Asia. Despite not being able to arrange my own timetable, I had a pretty great schedule. Lectures were run every week and seminars happened every second week. Class sizes for seminars were no more than 15 people so expect to be asked a question or two and the workload wasn’t excessive. Lecturers would generally set a number of questions or problems which they expected you to come prepared to discuss in seminar. 

I was under the impression that all assessments would be completed by the end of semester in mid-December. However, that wasn’t the case for my subjects. Instead, my essays were released late in November and were due late December and throughout January. This certainly impacted on my ability to travel at the end of my exchange at QMUL.

Professional development

My exchange experience has improved my confidence in my ability to network and adapt to new environments. Through settling-in to a new country, navigating student life in London and travelling I have become more organised and more self-reliant. Going on exchange has allowed me to experience studying and living in a global city which I believe to be advantageous when working in an increasingly global workforce.


London is very expensive, especially post-Covid. Expect prices to be twice what you would expect to pay in Brisbane. Groceries and the daily coffee can quickly add up. However, even so, living in London as a student is easily possible on a student budget. You can save money by buying groceries instead of take-out, downloading Student Beans for discounts when shopping in-store and online, and signing up for rewards cards in Superdrug and Boots. 

I used TodayTix to buy musical tickets (they frequently have sales on ticket prices). Citymapper to get around the city (it factors in transfer time between platforms which, surprisingly, can make or break making a train). 

I used the Tesco ‘Pay As You Go’ Sim during my exchange. For £10, with a free Tesco membership, you could get 30GB of data, 5000 texts and 5000 minutes per month. It allowed me to travel to Europe without having to pay extra for data roaming. However, I know some friends who used Voxi instead.


I recommend looking into what scholarships might be available to you. I took an OS Help Loan and also was fortunate to receive a Faculty of Business, Economics and Law (BEL) Overseas Study Assistance Scholarship which really helped fund my exchange experience including traveling to London as well as my accommodation costs.


It was incredibly difficult to find accommodation in London. It’s important to keep in mind that London is an incredibly expensive city and it is rare to find student accommodation that offer single semester stays. I ended up booking my accommodation through London Nest which was a third party affiliated with my accommodation called ‘Don Gratton House’ in Whitechapel, East London. 

I chose not to stay on-campus at the residences at QMUL because I was staying in London longer than mid-December (which was when the move out date was). Staying in student accommodation provided increased security and amenities (including a laundry room) that made living in a foreign city more comfortable.


The highlight of my experience was all the memories I have made exploring different countries and meeting new people. Having the opportunity to live in London for six months was an invaluable experience that I could not recommend more!

Advice/Top tips

Walk through London or take a bus instead of taking the tube, it’s a great way to see more of the city and its cheaper too. Be organised, take the time before you arrive in London to organise as much as you can so that you won’t be so overwhelmed. Make a list of the places and experiences that you want to see before you arrive.