Amy - University of Manchester

B Laws/ B Commerce
Semester 1, 2016

Academic Experience

As I had already completed my commerce subjects, I studied 3 law subjects in Manchester which was the equivalent of a full-time UQ semester load. The subjects I studied were: Communications Law and Regulation; Intellectual Property Law; and International Courts and Tribunals. For prospective UoM exchange students, it is useful to note that the law subjects were a lot more theoretical than I was used to in Australia, which has more practical assessment. Additionally, not all topics covered had to be studied for finals, though the topics that were studied needed to be learnt in-depth. Of the subjects I studied, I loved Intellectual Property Law and would highly recommend it to any law student studying at UoM.

As Australian law was originally founded on UK law, it was interesting learn about the legal industry in the UK and compare the differences between the two legal systems today.

Personal Experience

As I undertook exchange in my final semester (UQ Sem 1), I was able to spend 9 months of the year travelling before starting my graduate job. This enabled me to make friends for life around the world, as well as in Manchester. I was also able to explore so many incredible sights around Europe, Africa and Asia.

Additionally, in Manchester, I was able to learn French through a course offered by the International Society. However, I would recommend booking language classes online early, as courses for most languages filled before the semester started.

Accommodation

I lived at the Fallowfield Campus in Sheavyn House and had an absolute blast! I had 9 flatmates, that I shared a kitchen and living area with and who are now friends for life. I highly recommend preferencing Fallowfield, as it is known for being the social campus with lots of local pubs, clubs and parties. The other campuses (City and Victoria) usually have post-graduate students who prefer not to socialise as much. Fallowfield is about a 20 minute bus ride to the main campus where I had all my classes.

Budget 

I would recommend budgeting between $22,000 to $27,000 depending on how much travel you intend on doing and the exchange rate. For 9 months abroad I budgeted at the higher end of the scale and the costs averaged to about $120 / day.

Groceries in Manchester were cheaper than in Brisbane - most students shop at Lidl and you can get by on 20 pounds per week. While transport is more expensive, it was definitely worthwhile purchasing a semester bus pass from Stagecoach, which gives you travel all around Manchester for 120 pounds. The most expensive costs were rent (this was for self-catered accomodation) which was approximately 4,800 pounds, a ski trip, travels through Scandinavia and group travel (Travel Talk and Contiki). I saved money by organising travel by buses (ie Lux Express) or ferries and staying in hostels, rather than doing everything through a tour company.

As my exchange was in UQ Semester 1, I had lots of winter clothing that I didn't want to carry during summer travels. To send home 2 boxes it cost around $200 and the company provided the boxes and effected delivery door-to-door.

Professional Development & Employability

During my exchange I was able to learn about European law and in particular, UK law which will be particularly helpful when working on international matters in the workplace. Having the opportunity to move overseas and study has given me confidence to potentially move abroad and work in the future.

Highlights

The highlight of my exchange was undoubtedly the friends I made for life and the amazing places and continents I was able to visit through winter to summer.

Top Tips 

It is really beneficial to go to UoM International Society events in the orientation week, as well as signing up to sports or other activities where you will have the opportunity to make lifelong friends.

It was also really nice to meet up with other students going to the same university on exchange before leaving Australia, so that there are familiar faces around when you check-in at the accommodation. With another student from UQ, I booked travel for the mid-semester in advance to save money as it was for a longer period of time and flights, buses, accommodation and tour companies such as Contiki or Travel Talk book out fast. Though, I would advise students not to pre-plan travel during weekends so that you can be flexible to travel with new found friends.

I would recommend doing an exchange in final semester if graduating on a half-year, so that the rest of the year can be utilised for travel.