Dominic - University of Lima

B. Economics / Law
Semester 1, 2015

Academic experience

I studied Economics / Finance subjects at the Universidad de Lima. The biggest difference was trying a university with one-fourth of the UQ student population and significantly fewer grounds' size. It was great to build closer relationships with the Lecturers, as classes have no more than 40 students. Also taking on more subjects than the regular UQ 4 courses work load was great for testing time management abilities.

Personal experience

The highlight of the Peruvian experience was the friendships developed. Increased the desire to learn and speak more Spanish. Now I have friends that I am expecting to come visit Australia and stay with me back in Brisbane for their holidays. 
As for personal skills developed, when meeting new people, creating new friendships, especially when there is a large language barrier, it is incredible how much your social aware skills increase.

Accommodation

I lived off campus with a lady, her boyfriend and two French exchange students. The house was a block from the ocean and surf, everyone surfed, everyone tried very hard not to speak English to me to improve my Spanish. Highly due to that, my Spanish speaking ability flourished. 
If your goal is to learn a language, live in an environment that supports it.

Budget

The OS Help Loan covered almost all of the costs. Rent was $420 AUD per month, food was incredibly cheap, transport is about 40 cents if you don't mind the long public bus rides, otherwise, taxis are 1/10 of the Brisbane prices. When socialising, the costs of drinks are 1/5 of Australian prices.
When budgeting, don't underestimate the number of time's you will be travelling within the country. Traveling in Peru is one of the highlights.

Professional development and employability

Spontaneous Surf Trip to San Bartolo
Spontaneous Surf Trip to San Bartolo

Studying electives overseas allows for a slight alteration in the course's nature/degree of complexity. I was able to take on courses beyond my level of finance and push to achieve. I had to learn to study with new friends to help pass some of the more difficult courses and learnt to increase social and cultural awareness. These three things will be the three that I will take into future jobs as well. Recognising when you need help and asking for it and spending more time listening and watching.

Highlight

Getting my first 20/20 in Financial Management in Spanish and topping the class.

Top tips

  • Spend the first three months with eyes wide open.
  • Be flexible, work with the culture and be willing to drop a lot of premature perceptions about the country.
Dominic - University of Lima