Owen - Harvard Summer School

Bachelor of Laws (Honours)
Winter 2023
The experience pushed me academically, especially the fast-paced environment that I was subject to (completing a subject in three weeks).


To push myself out of my comfort zone and take part in an international experience independently with not much understanding of what was to come. Additionally, receiving credit towards my degree that was not simply the norm of completing a subject at UQ, but rather taking advantage of doing this overseas in a new environment.

Personal Development

My time overseas helped prove to myself that I am capable of successfully travelling and undertaking a global experience despite previous nerves or apprehensiveness of my ability to do such a task. This helped my overall confidence and trust in myself. I have also gained several friends (my first from other countries), which I hope will continue and stay in touch with now that I am back in Australia. The experience also allowed me to explore new places, especially those that were not in the same city as my host university, which was a new experience that I had not done very often before (but loved).

Academic Development

The experience pushed me academically, especially the fast-paced environment that I was subject to (completing a subject in three weeks). However, this further assisted in pushing me to succeed despite adjusting to this new academic landscape. The teaching style was somewhat similar and limited some of the challenges that I was expecting, which was also assisted by the fact that I found the content of the course to be relatively interesting and engaging. My biggest challenge was balancing the need to complete the course successfully, but also wanting to explore the new country and city that I was living in, which was overcome by properly manning my time and understanding why I was in the city in the first place (to study).

Professional Development

I think I have developed a sense of independence that can be transferred into a professional environment, especially with the need to adapt in a new country with limited guidance and understanding of what was to come. Additionally, my ability to communicate and form relationships with other people were definitely developed during my experience, which was evident when needing to make friends or complete tasks in class with people from different countries and backgrounds.


In terms of budgeting, the most beneficial process for me was paying for the course, accommodation and meals prior to leaving for my experiences, which allowed me to confirm that I had enough money for these basic necessities. Then I could then look at how much money I had left to spend on other non-essential items and trips that were not involved in my study experience. Breaking up these essential and non-essential payments was effective in determining how much money you really needed and how much you might want to enhance your experience.

  • Accommodation, course and meals = approx. $10,000
  • Flights and other travel = approx. $4,000
  • Other (including accomodation/food/trips/experiences outside my host university and the study experience) = approx. $4,000.


The funding was beneficial in enhancing my experience and having extra money to spend on other non-essential items (such as souvenirs or presents). Although it ended up being a small fraction of the money I spent, any funding is always beneficial to give greater certainty that you have enough money while overseas.


Accommodation options at the host university were very reasonable, where a single room was allocated to me with a shared bathroom. The accommodation came with several amenities, such as a dining hall and access to laundry services etc, which were beneficial to have so close to the place you were staying. However, adapting to this lifestyle was at times difficult, especially things like a shared bathroom or the small space you were given in the bedroom (but these were not deal-breakers in any sense). The biggest con was not being told what type of room (e.g. shared or single room; what house/dormitory you were staying in) until approximately a week before leaving, which introduced a sense of uncertainty that was not ideal right before departing.


The highlight of my time was definitely experiencing what it was like living in a different country and adapting to a new environment. Additionally, I really enjoyed exploring all the new places I had never been to and explore sites that I never thought I would see.

Advice/Top Tips

My top tip is to definitely take full advantage of the experience and all the opportunities that come with it, such as exploring, making new friends and taking in everything that is around you. Additionally, it is important to keep in touch with family and friends from back home so that the new experience is still filled with some familiarity.