Yi-Hsien - University College London

Bachelor of Commerce
Semester 1, 2018

Academic experience

I studied four management courses as my electives (Business in a Competitive Environment, Business in the Digital Age, International Strategy, and Strategic Human Resource Management). The academic system is similar to UQ, all of the courses I took include lecture and tutorial/ seminar, the major difference between UCL and UQ is that UCL has lectures in a smaller size. The difficulty of the courses is at a similar standard to UQ, however, a score of 70 or higher is rare, so don’t look at the grades in the same way as in UQ. The enrolment of the courses begins during the orientation, which is the week before the semester starts. I was lucky as none of the courses I selected was full and no clash between the courses. The whole enrolment process was frustrating, mainly because students would only know whether they could take the selected courses a few days before the semester began.

Personal experience

London is one of the best city in Europe, a huge metropolitan with ancient history, making it my first option as an exchange destination. There are so many tourist attractions to visit and so many activities to attend that foreigners like me will never be bored. Studying in London also offer me the chance to explore other cities in the UK and Europe. I visited Edinburgh, Amsterdam, Brussels, Paris, Berlin, and Copenhagen. I traveled alone to all of these places except Berlin. I used to feel solo travel can be bored and less interesting than traveling with friends, however, after my first time traveling alone in Europe, I started to love traveling alone. It provides me the chance to explore a place in maximum freedom and immerse myself in different cultures.

Accommodation

I lived in John Dodgson House, which is a self-catered UCL accommodation. Located in King’s Cross, it is only 5-minute walk away from King’s Cross/ St. Pancras Station and a 12-minute walk to UCL Bloomsbury campus. Most tube lines pass through King’s Cross and St. Pancras station, making it so convenient to travel across London. St. Pancras station is also a major national rail station and Eurostar station that allows people to travel across the UK and visit other European cities. The location is great but each kitchen in shared by 10 students so there may not be enough space in the refrigerators. Overall, I would recommend John Dodgson House as the place to stay.

Costs

Living in London can be really expensive, especially the cost of accommodation. To minimize the cost of living, try to purchase groceries in Tesco instead of Waitrose and take buses instead of tubes. Entering tube station in off-peak hours also gives you a cheaper tube fare. Low cost airlines often offer really cheap price to Europe if you book tickets in advance.

Professional Development

Exchange to London provides me with a whole new learning experience. A smaller number of students in each tutorial and seminar session force me to get out of my comfort zone, participate deeply into all the activities. In such a competitive learning environment with outstanding students all over the world, I was inspired to study harder and learn more to enhance my knowledge and ability.

Highlight

Every trip in London is a highlight. The whole time there is a pleasant and unforgettable memory, whether it is watching London Tower Bridge in a sunny afternoon across Thames River, spending my whole day exploring the British Museum or achieving one of my dream which is to visit Sherlock Holmes Museum.

Top tips

  • Be patient when applying for exchange to UCL (including accommodation), as the whole process can take quite a long time.
  • It can be quite frustrating during the first week as course selection may not go as original planned.
  • Plan your trip early to get cheaper airline tickets or Eurostar trains.
  • Immerse yourself in a different culture and make use of the time there.