Daniel - Loughborough University

Bachelor of Exercise and Sports Science
Semester 1, 2018
The new perspectives gained from coming into contact with people from all over the globe was incredible.

Academic experience

Doing an Exercise and Sport Science degree at UQ means you don't get too much flexibility with your program (as there aren't many electives in the degree) so Loughborough University is really good as many of their modules correlate with UQ courses. I studied Issues in Sport and Exercise, Olympic Studies, Research Skills B2, Principles of Exercise Psychology, and Sport, Social Inclusion and Diversity. Loughborough University was also great in helping me get into these modules, and even when there was a clash between them (which isn't usually allowed), they bent the rules slightly to allow me to enrol into all of them. The teaching style at Loughborough University is different to UQ, where you need to study 60 credits, and this is predominantly done over 6 subjects. Since you are studying more subjects over the same period of time, there is not as much coursework involved for each module compared to UQ. This meant a typical week for me involved a 1 hour lecture for a module worth 10 credits and a 2 hour lecture for a module worth 20 credits, and a tutorial (lasting one hour) for each module once every 2-3 weeks. While I enjoyed not going into university that often, the flip-side of having less contact time is that there was a lot of self-directed learning, usually in the form of mandatory readings. The volume of mandatory readings was more than I was used to at UQ, and I found this challenging but I found that if I dedicated time during each week for readings for each module I was able to keep on top of all of them.

Personal experience

Exchange was a life-changing experience for me, I got to experience living in a way that was different to Australia and I became lifelong friends with people not only from the UK, but across the rest of Europe and the world. I got the chance to explore and experience different cultures in France, Netherlands, Italy, Portugal and I lived with a family and learned Spanish and taught English in Spain. I highly recommend staying with locals if you can as you gain a much deeper insight into their culture.  The new perspectives gained from coming into contact with people from all over the globe was incredible. In the UK there is so much to do, but my favourites were the beautiful natural areas outside the big cities, such as the Lakes District, the Yorkshire Dales and the Isle of Man.

Accommodation

In Lougborough University all the exchange/ERASMUS students lived in halls that the university provided, whether this be on campus or a 5 minute walk off campus. The accommodation is very similar to UQ's colleges, where there are social events and inter-hall sporting and cultural competitions. As part of the exchange application process you get provided with an accommodation form where you get to choose whether you want to be self-catered or catered. This is entirely personal preference and I chose to be catered due to the convenience of not having to cook, and due to the social atmosphere of sitting in a dining hall and eating with friends. It's very easy to get into university accommodation and all the halls are pretty similar to each other. I loved how close my hall was to my lectures and the library, and how it was easy to make friends with people living within the same hall.

Costs

The cost of an exchange to England depends entirely on how much you want to travel. Rent and food (especially when you are living in a hall that provides food) is easy to calculate and comparable to Australia. While I was in Europe I travelled extensively and that was what ate into my budget the most. Train travel in England is expensive (80 pounds return from Loughborough to London) so I recommend taking a bus around the UK whenever possible. Flying through Europe is reasonable (20 pounds return if you book early enough) and accommodation obviously varies but a typical hostel costs between 15-30 pounds a night.  
Accommodation (including food during uni term time)- $6500
Flights (to and from Europe)- $2000
Travel- $8000

Professional Development

I didn't specifically focus on professional development while on exchange, it just happened naturally based on events that happened around me. Problem solving, socials skills and resilience were some things I developed while living overseas.

Highlight

There were so many amazing things I did while I was on exchange but the one that stands out were the people I met. I met amazing people everywhere I went. From the lifelong friends I made at uni, to the strangers who allowed me to stay in their homes while travelling, along with the people I met while staying at hostels.

Top tips

It's a cliche, but exchange is a life changing experience and you should try and do everything in your power to go. Once you're over there my one piece of advice is say yes to pretty much everything. Loughborough University is really sporty uni so say yes to joining a sports team or playing in your hall's sporting competition or joining a club or society. Saying yes will take you to some amazing and unexpected places and will allow you to do some amazing and unforgettable things.