Georgia - University College London

B Arts/ B Communication
Semester 2, 2017

Academic Experience

At UCL, I was admitted into the Institute of Archaeology. I did four archaeology subjects that contributed to my Archaeology and Ancient History Major for my Arts degree.

At UQ I do a double degree, so the first difference was that I was focusing on one discipline which I think made the semester easier as there was content overlap, and because I only had to deal with one new faculty.

The biggest difference between UCL and UQ is the term time and work load. UCL is only 10 teaching weeks, and as an affiliate student you will probably have alternative assessments. All four of my courses had assessments or exams after my approved study time, which meant for two courses I needed to submit all work before I left, and for the other two I needed to do an extra essay. Overall, I think I had 9 pieces of assessments over 10 weeks.

I would recommend looking and planning your assessment schedule early, especially because you will want to travel around Europe and explore London.

Personal Experience

Exchange was a great experience. Meeting people from all over the world and making friendships around London was such a great factor of exchange. Personally, I love the theatre and went to 24 west end shows which was amazing. I would recommend meeting up with UQ students going to the same host university prior to going overseas so that you have a support system and friendship group before you arrive.

Accommodation

I lived off-campus with my aunty so can’t give a lot of advice on this topic. However, I did apply for student accommodation through UCL and was accepted for a ensuite room near Victoria station for 200 pounds a week. Independent Student accommodation around London is between 250 – 350 pounds a week so UCL accommodation is the way to go.

I set 200 pounds a week as my highest amount which is why I think I was offered this room. But I would have preferred the other accommodation offered by UCL which was closer to campus and was cheaper. So I would recommend using UCL accommodation and stating the price that you actually want to pay, not what you can.

Budget 

I saved about $15000 before leaving for exchange (including the help loan). Once overseas, I received $4000 for UQ (Travel grant and unrelated scholarship) and around $2000 from centrelink (regular student allowance).

I found that I always had more than enough money. I left Australia at the end of June and travelled for 2 months before arriving in London. Overall, I think I spent about $8000 but I did not have the expense of rent which would have been an extra $4000- $6000. If you have already lived away from home (like I had), then you should have no problem budgeting. Food is way cheaper in London than Australia, transport is on par, and there are tons of free activities and attractions around London.

Professional Development & Employability

I think exchange has allowed me to become more independent, responsible and resilient. From trying to navigate the underground to having to go to the hospital in Singapore to treat a random allergic reaction, I’ve had to take control and responsibility for myself.

From a professional side, I have now studied at one of the top archaeological institutes in the world which will help me with future employment and grad school applications.

Highlights 

My highlight of exchange was the relationships I made. Now I have friends around the world who I can’t wait to see again. I made two new friends that also study at UQ, so I get to return home with people that have shared an amazing experience with. Exchange also allowed me to spend extended time with my family in the UK.

Top Tips

Do it! Exchange is a great experience. It feels like one massive holiday but you’re also increasing your employability. You will meet amazing new people and get to explore a new part of the world. This will be the highlight of your degree.