Isabella - University of Connecticut

Bachelor of Psychological Science (Hons)
Semester 2, 2017

Academic experience

I am a 3rd year student studying a Bachelor of Psychological Science (Honours) who was lucky enough to study at The University of Connecticut (UCONN) during the fall semester of 2017. Whilst at UCONN I undertook three psychology subjects and one general elective. 
Unlike UQ, UCONN does not record lectures and the majority of my classes had compulsory attendance and graded participation. Some of my lecturers didn’t post the powerpoint slides which made attending classes very important.

Personal experience

As part of UCONN Outdoors, I had the opportunity to experience stand-up paddle boarding, white water kayaking, white water rafting, camping and hiking. UCONN Outdoors offers many other activities, the majority of them being free to students - with the activities that weren’t free being $30.
My time abroad allowed me to make life-long friendships with both Americans and other exchange students. I strongly recommend becoming friends with other exchange students as they are the people you will travel the country with. UCONN is in a prime location for sightseeing as it’s only a few hours away from New York and Boston. 
I chose the fall semester as I wanted to experience the holidays such as Thanks Giving and Halloween. I was also able to experience the fall and the beginning of winter, all these things combined created an atmosphere completely different from home. 

Accommodation

McMahon was the traditional residence hall that I lived in. The gym, book store and Gampel pavilion (the basketball stadium) are only a short walk from McMahon. McMahon is one of the only dorms to have a dining hall inside it, which was great when the weather was bad as I didn’t have to go outside. McMahon also has a games room, study lounge, mailroom and a projector area within the global house room. 
Global House is a section of McMahon that contains a mixture of exchange students, international students and American students. This is where I lived and was able to meet a wide variety of people, most going through the same experience as me. I had an American roommate and most of the exchange students I knew in global house had them as well, so if you really want an American roommate, it is still possible to get one in global house. 

Costs

My accommodation and meal plan cost approximately $6 500 USD. Overall, I would recommend saving approximately $15 000 AUD for your time abroad. Receiving the OS help loan of approximately $6 500 AUD, was extremely helpful.

Professional Development

Attending UCONN has positively changed my perspectives as I met lots of different people with different cultural back grounds. My academic development has enhanced as I learnt how to adapt to a different learning style and culture.

Highlight

It’s impossible to pick just one highlight from my time at UCONN! From dressing up at Halloween and smashing pumpkins to travelling the east coast, every moment spent with my UCONN family has been amazing and a once in a life time experience.

Top tips

• If you’re considering going on exchange, just do it! It’s a once in a life time experience that you won’t forget.
• If you can, say yes! Be open minded about everything and be willing to try new things, you wont regret it. 
• Travel as much as you can. There’s so many places to see and once you’re there you will want to see it all.
• When travelling, I recommend using the Peter Pan Buses or the Greyhound Buses. 
• The more the merrier! Try and travel with other exchange students as chances are they want to visit that place as well. It also helps with the cost of accommodation and sometimes other expenses.