Morgan - University of Exeter

B Arts
Semester 2, 2015 and Semester 1, 2016

Academic Experience

I had issues regarding my subjects before I even left Australia. As a psychology major, there were several 3rd year psychology modules I wanted to take in Exeter. However, after having submitted my application and module choices, I was told I could not study any 3rd year psychology modules. In the end, with the help and advice of Exeter's exchange staff, we found a 30 credit point sports psychology module run by the sports faculty that I was able to gain credit for.

Other than that I studied mostly electives I was interested in, such as archaeology, and the final subject for my minor, Ancient Greek philosophy. Aside from the sports psychology, which I found challenging, I thoroughly enjoyed the modules I studied.

I found the system there to be much more focused on independent study with much fewer contact hours, mostly lectures though a couple of modules had some seminars. It took a while for me to get my head around that but I found that I enjoyed their system.

Personal Experience

Some of the best skills I gained overseas included adapting to a foreign education system, gaining confidence in solo travel and just adapting to everyday life in another part of the world, a place that is not home, yet remarkably similar. And just getting more confident in my ability to handle things.

I found that it took me most of the first term to fully settle in to Exeter. Getting to know the place and the people took time and I found that I enjoyed the experience much more for feeling like I was actually living there and not on an extended holiday.

Accommodation 

I lived on campus in St Davids. It was located right next to the main train station making it easy to travel around. I lived with 5 other students, a mix of British and international people. I found it to be an enjoyable place and got on really well with all my housemates.

Professional Development & Employability 

Gaining a better understanding of other cultures and countries was a big part of the experience. Living out of home, on a budget and adapting to a different country was challenging at times but a great experience.

Highlights 

Taking a four day trip to Iceland in January to see the Northern Lights and go on a snowmobile trip was pretty awesome, though a quite chilly. Celebrating Guy Fawkes night in Ottery St Mary with their traditional Flaming Tar Barrels is absolutely not to be missed (luckily just about every society offers tickets for the coach trip).

Getting involved in societies there and meeting some great people, and a weekly trip to the Imperial, the unofficial student pub, was brilliant.

Top Tips 

The biggest piece of advice I can give is to start saving a good couple of years in advance. You'll want at least $20000 AUD for a year especially if you want to travel a lot. Travel was certainly my biggest expense as I went all over the south west, to Scotland and even to the continent over the Christmas holidays and on my way over.

Also, plan and have backups for subjects you need to get credit for in case the uni decides they can't offer you the subjects you need.

Just get involved and go for it. However, know your limits and don't burn yourself out in the process. Things become less fun when you're burnt out.