Harriet - University of Bath

B Science
Semester 1, 2016

Academic experience

I studied four courses while I was abroad, they revolved around conservation, systems biology, animal behaviour and biochemistry. My contact hours, while i was abroad, were a lot less than they were at UQ, and the way of teaching was similar in many ways, but also very different. There were student-run lectures, 100% final exams and 'dragons den' type presentations.

Personal experience

I have made friendships with people from all over the world, from every different aspect of life. Alongside that, being based in the UK meant I could travel throughout Europe easily. Every weekend was a new country/ place/ adventure with the people who I didn't even know two months prior. Being able to live in a town as beautiful as Bath was also a plus!

Accommodation 

The University of Bath has both on-campus accommodation at the university and off-campus accommodation in the town of Bath. I stayed in Pulteney Court which was off campus. It was the most convenient location out of all of them, I could walk to Uni in 15 minutes but it also meant I was really close to the bars, restaurants and clubs in town. A lot of the other exchange students were living here as well, which made it easy to meet people. If you are going on exchange my advice to you is not to rent privately. Try and live in the accommodation hosted by the University. As a whole its cheaper and easier.

Budget 

Rent and public transport are the most expensive things about living in the UK. An hour-long train from the airport was often more expensive than my return flights to Croatia and Italy. Booking in advance for trains will save you a lot of money, and utilising the buses will too. You can find cheap plane tickets on Skyscanner (I flew to Spain for 16 AUD). Your budget really depends on what you want to do with your time here. If you want to spend time travelling, you need to make sure you have the money to facilitate that.

Professional development and employability

In terms of professional development, my communication and presentation skills significantly improved. I was expected to present for every course I was enrolled in and also required to lead 5-15 minute discussions based on what I was speaking about. Alongside that, I can now show future employers that I am capable of adapting to and flourishing in unfamiliar environments.

Highlights 

The travelling was the highlight of my experience. I visited so many beautiful places and met so many wonderful people along the way that I couldn't have asked for a better exchange.

Top tips 

If you are considering exchange for your last semester you should know that it is possible, and it won't always delays your graduation. I was able to graduate with my class from UQ despite the fact I went on exchange in my last semester. If you are organised, and contact host universities to ensure they will be able to send away transcripts in time, then your graduation may not be delayed. But apart from that the only advice I can give you, is that you have to go on exchange, you will not regret it.

Harriet - University of Bath