Laura - University of Virginia

B. Arts
Semester 2, 2016

Academic experience

I studied mostly English Literature classes while I was at UVa and then one Art History class. I loved the English classes as they have a massive range of classes on some really interesting topics that you wouldn't usually have the opportunity to explore. I found my classes included a lot of discussions and student lead learning. One of the most challenging aspects concerning my class choices was that my reading load for each week was really heavy and meant that I needed to be good at time management for reading. I took four classes instead of five which helped so much in being able to adapt and cope better to a new learning environment and heavy reading load whilst also having to time to actually enjoy my time on exchange.

Personal experience

I absolutely loved my experience in Virginia! Everyone at UVa is super kind and helpful and I found it very easy to meet people and make friends. I have made friends that will last a lifetime and memories that I will treasure forever! I would definitely recommend doing an exchange to UVa to anyone who is thinking about it and I enjoyed it so much more than I ever could have imagined. I made most of my friends at Blue Ridge Church of Christ, but it is also so easy to make friends in my classes and my dorms. I recommend making the most of the American culture and amazing places that you can go in Virginia. Some places and things that are must-dos for me are Carter Mountain where you can go apple picking, an American football and basketball games, Shenandoah National Park, and Lighting of the Lawn! I was also there for the Fall semester so I was lucky to have the full American experience being able to celebrate Halloween and Thanksgiving!

Accommodation

I lived on grounds at UVa. I lived in hall-style dorms in Hereford College but in a single room. I absolutely loved living in Hereford. I had heard that Hereford was considered quite far from the middle of grounds but found that it was a quick 15-20 minute walk to all my classes. Most of the other exchange students I met live in the IRC (International Residential College) and it sounded like they also really loved that. But what I really loved about Hereford was that I felt part of a community and became really good friends with lots of the girls in my hall. It was also really close to Runk dining hall which was super handy.

Budget

Food is a lot cheaper in Virginia, however, I would still suggest inve

Quarry Jumping
Quarry Jumping

sting in a meal plan. It made the everyday living so much easier knowing that I didn't have to spend time and money planning out and cooking meals. The busses that go around grounds are free so you don't need to budget money for everyday travel costs. I also lived in an on-grounds housing which was a bit expensive but I think definitely worth it due to how close you are to everything.

Professional development and employability

UVa is a very prestigious school and regarded highly around the world and so having the privilege of being able to study there shows the development of skills such as learning in different environments, ability to adapt, and independence.

Highlight

UVa is a very prestigious school and regarded highly around the world and so having the privilege of being able to study there shows the development of skills such as learning in different environments, ability to adapt, and independence.

Top tips

  • Don't worry about making friends. Everyone at UVa is so kind and loving and so just make an effort to say hi to people in your classes, dorms, or clubs and you will have friends in no time!
  • Budget in some extra money. You will always spend more than you expect and that way you won't have to be constantly worrying about your spending.
  • Go to Shenandoah. It's not very often you have a national park so close and you will not regret it!
  • Take advantage of your weekends and try and plan some road trips to neighbouring states or cities.
Laura - University of Virginia