Yuqi - Alliance Manchester Business School

B Commerce
Semester 2, 2017

Academic Experience

I’m taking double major under BCom, so technically there is no general electives for me. I didn’t expect too much for my study plan being passed at the beginning, but luckily Alliance Manchester Business School had enough finance equivalents for me so that I finally managed it. The system there requires 60 ECT in total, and most courses are worth 10 ECT or 20 ECT. In the end I took 6 courses to meet the requirement, which I thought must be so overwhelmed for study. Surprisingly, what I found about my courses in AMBS is that most of them are 100% based on the finally exam (but the assessment may be different for other major according to my roommates). Later nearly at the end of semester, they often gave you several questions and you were only required to answer some of them as you wish. Honestly it was a challenge, because there was no such progressive guideline like mid-semester exam for myself to check if I followed tightly, and it was also easy to be lazy in between. So, what benefited me most under this system is that it forced me to develop a stronger time management skill and be more discipline.

I’m not sure how exam be like for other students, but for business school, I think the system aims to encourage students learning things extensively and organically, but only test the things they think most matters. This helps me reconsider the way of my learning new things and how they are related to knowledge around them.

Personal Experience

I would say the very skill that benefits me most for the lifelong time is how to plan a trip well. Due to the visa issue, I only traveled in UK but still gained a lot from my co-traveler. UK is such a wonderful country to travel for the transportation is developed and it’s not big in general. And most importantly, the view is magnificently amazing. I traveled to Peak District, York, Sheffield, Whitby, Lake District, Birmingham, London, Edinburgh and Highland. That experience made me more confident on travel abroad either on my own or with my friends. The place I enjoyed most is Scotland highland. Not only the view is magnificent, it was also the first time I traveled as a backpacker.

Accommodation

I lived in the Whitworth Park residence of hall. It was super convenient for students who would like to make the full use of the facilities of uni, for it was at most 5-minute walk from the nearest 24/7 library (Alan Gilbert). But if you consider a more social life, Fallowfield may be a better choice, which is about 10-15 mins away to uni by bus. The accommodation life there are flat-based. There were several buildings for students and each building has several separate flats. In each flat, there would be 7-9 students lived together (mix gender), sharing a common room, a kitchen, several bathrooms and toilets. Most of the facilities and styles are the same among different buildings but there were still slight differences. I would say it was such an experience to live with other students and it definitely helped you to engage in your uni life. Unlike in Brisbane, where I rent a room and lived with a roommate who has already worked, a bunch of students and freshers like you were bound together. There was no need for you to be embarrassed or feel excluded as an exchange student, because everyone was fresher there and we shared the same confusion to this unfamiliar environment. My roommates and I had very great time together and we often hang out exploring this city and celebrating each other’s birthday together. I didn’t feel like an outsider at all living in the student of residence of hall. That’s how a Uni life should be like :D

Budget 

Compared to the accommodation expense in Brisbane, the student residence of hall there is relatively cheap and affordable. Honestly, I didn’t pay too much attention on cost…but one suggestion to save money is to schedule your travel as early as possible, because the train ticket can be much cheaper if you buy it a long time in advance.

Professional Development & Employability

The courses they prepared for students are not the same with UQ’s. I think what benefits me most was a course called Financial Analysis, which taught us how to evaluate a company’s performance based on all kinds of perspectives, including industry background, news, annual report and financial statement. The concept is very practical and easy to be applied in real world when someone is going to have an interview of a company.

Highlights

I guess the highlight of my experience was I met so many lovely people, most of whom were either international students or exchange students like me. We have same experience and can relate to each other. Some of them inspired me the way I treated studying, and some of them inspired me the way I treated international friendships. This definitely made my exchange semester. It was a shame that I didn’t get so involved in the British culture there, for the party culture was so overwhelming and scared me away a little bit.

Top Tips 

Well, I think the top tip is to plan and research what you could expect as much as possible before your exchange semester/year gets cracking. Therefore, you won’t waste your precious time there. For more details, I think I will give such suggestions:

  1. Since GPA there is not as important as we get at UQ, you can spend more time on getting to know more people all around the world.
  2. International Society is a good place for exchange students to join, for they arrange travel for us every weekend and also some cozy social events on a regular base around the week. It’s a nice place to make friends. They also arrange transportation and tell you what you can expect from the destination. But unluckily, the schedule they arranged did not suit me well so I had to plan the whole travel things by myself.
  3. Take amazing photos while traveling, for some of the places you only visit once in a life time.
  4. You should either prepare an umbrella or waterproof coat all the time, because the weather is so unpredictable there. I recommend you prepare a waterproof coat.
  5. The balance between study and travel is really important for it’s easy for you to desert study away for a long time. Make plans in advance.