Tim - Northeastern University

B. Engineering (Mechanical) / Business Management (Sustainability)
Semester 1, 2017

Academic experience

I found that the engineering courses of a similar difficulty and layout to those at UQ, the only difference being, fewer projects. However, business management courses had more frequent assessments which were rather overwhelming and I struggled to keep up. But the assessments were substantially less difficult. 90% of learning was done through assessment. These do chew up time so prioritize well and be clear about what grades you need to achieve. If you do this there will be less stress and as long as you put a little bit of effort in, it shouldn't be too hard to pass. The mandatory attendance was also hard to keep up with so I guess it's important to make a good timetable. Honestly, my biggest difficulty was trying to switch off and make the most of exchange rather than trying to hard on studies.

Personal experience

Made so many friends, and had a blast but I think the biggest take away was realising how much there is to do in the world and how you can make the most of every day. I've brought this home with me and now have new motivation to travel and kick some goals!

Accommodation

I lived on-campus. I highly recommend this! Most of the friends you make will be other exchange students and I found that most stayed on campus. These are the guys who will want to go to as many events as possible with you and do weekend trips with so being close by really helps those last minute plans come together. It's also just good to have them close if you ever need anything. So I would highly recommend being close. I found that most students are hard working and that college is not similar to how it is portrayed in movies, but the people you meet in college will let you know about where the frat parties are at if that's up your alley.

Budget

Road trip to Bryce Canyon
Road trip to Bryce Canyon

I found the meal plan to be too expensive for what it was because you end up eating out a lot especially if you are going to sports or music events because dining halls close at 10 pm. I found myself struggling to use all my meals (10 a week) and in hindsight would have gone without a meal plan. Food was easy to come by with multiple stores on campus and if you want a dining hall meal you can just buy one individually. 
That being said. entertainment is generally cheap (get re-sale tickets to everything from stub hub the day of the event!! you get tickets 90% of the time and for at least half price.) Food is expensive but varies wildly from state to state.. transport was not very cheap either and neither was rent. But it is all worth it. Take as much money as you can. I think you could survive with 15,000 total, but if you want to live large, you could easily spend twice that.

Professional development and employability

I've become more confident and aware

Highlight

Road tripping to Canada and sleeping in the back of a car. It was rushed, cold, long drives and not very glamorous but for some reason, it was a massive highlight for me. It was so much fun! Canada is amazing and it's good to get away from the cities to see American countrysides. Take me back any day.

Top tips

DO IT! It is a must! honestly, I didn't even consider it when I began uni and the idea slowly grew on me. I ended up being blown away and I'm so glad I went! It's a great opportunity to live in another country because it's only going to become harder to do as you move on in life!

Tim - Northeastern University