Michael - University of Nottingham

B Information Technology
Semester 1, 2016

Academic Experience

I got to study many interesting courses, some of which are not offered by UQ. I took C++ Programming, Parallel and Distributed Programming, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. The academic system at Nottingham was very similar to UQ, however there was more emphasis on the final exam and less assignments throughout the semester. This meant for more free time during the semester to travel but put a little extra stress on keeping up with content. The exams however are no harder than UQ and the pass rate is only 40%, with 70%+ being a First (which is like our 7s).

Personal Experience

I traveled around all of Europe during my Easter break (1-month break) which was super exciting. I did this trip with other exchange students from Malaysia, Canada and Hong Kong. We visited Malta, Italy, Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, and Hungary. During our trip we met many wonderful and interesting people from around the world. This has made me a more cultured and independent person, and I can’t wait to plan my next trip.

Accommodation

I lived in a Catered Hall (Newark Hall) on Jubilee Campus. The price was fairly good compared to UQ Colleges and made everything more convenient but I’d recommend finding a student apartment. The food was average and dinner was way too early for me (like 5-7pm). There was a pantry food with a kettle, microwave and toaster so midnight snack option where limited.

Budget 

Whilst I was in the UK the exchange rate was pretty horrible which made everything feel like a rip-off. I’d say the cost of living was higher due to the exchange rate. Traveling wise I saved money by purchasing cheap flights in advance, using buses/trains if the option was cheaper, staying at AirBnB’s or hostels, and definitely use Uber over cabs (not even sure if it’s always cheaper but I liked knowing how much the trip will cost, being able to split the fare and never had any problems). I didn’t keep track of the total trip cost, but I’d say approximately around 14k for 5 and a half months stay.

Professional Development & Employability

My exchange experience has made me a more independent and well-rounded person. I got to experience many different cultures and explore several parts of the world. I’m now a professional navigator too.

Highlights 

During the Easter break I spent almost all my money traveling through Europe with other exchange students. We became a family and had the best time ever. Got to try many different foods, beers, clubs and activates. It was such an amazing time and I want to do it again one day soon. I also caught up with a few mates I knew traveling throughout Europe.

Top Tips

It’s a great experience and I’d defiantly recommend it everyone. Put a fair amount of research into where you are going and what there is to do. Try not to get sick in the first month and be dying for 6 weeks. Don’t go deadlifts before a 14hour flight home and have fun and enjoy your time overseas.