Semester Exchange at the University of Exeter – by Thi Ngoc Anh Nguyen

I had been at Exeter in the second last semester of my three-year Bachelor of Finance degree. I chose Exeter University for my exchange because I have a friend studying in Exeter. Exeter is also a very prestigious University with an award-winning campus, which was another pull factor. Global Learning was fantastic in helping me sort this all out before I left for the UK in January 2014. I was motivated to participate in the exchange program as I love travelling and I also thought an exchange would add value to my degree as I would be learning about other people and cultures and how they live.

Lectures were generally for two hours; which is the same as lectures at Uni Adelaide. However, the methods of assessment were quite different. The results of 3 out of 4 subjects I took were solely based on the results of final exam so I was quite pressured when sitting in the final exams.

I found living and studying in the UK hard to adjust to at first but, like everything, you adapt to your surroundings. Their way of life becomes your way of life for the time that you are there. At first one of the major factors I struggled with was the cold. However, England has better central heating systems than we do here in Australia so it wasn’t so bad once the heating did come on. The accommodation itself was a lot better than I had expected. It was ₤125 per week for 2 persons and that included all bills. I then spent between ₤30-40 a week on food and activities.

While on exchange, and during the time I had in the UK before I started at Exeter, I was fortunate to do a bit of travelling. I loved how easy it was to get around England with their fantastic public transport system. Having trains was amazing and I got to see a lot of the country that way. I visited Dartmouth and Totnes which are in Devon county. It was an ideal base for a quieter experience of the United Kingdom, being packed full of quaint villages, rolling countryside which is uniquely English. I also went to London numerous times, to Bath, York, Liverpool and Scotland. I had chance to visit Old Trafford stadium which has been the home of my favorite Manchester F.C. In the Easter holiday, I went to Rome, Amsterdam, Paris, Copenhagen and Berlin. Each trip taught me something new about myself and about each destination and their varying cultures. Most notably, I realized that I can live and support myself and that wherever I go I will make the most of it and be alright.

Being an exchange student has been an important chapter of my life. After the first week of getting settled in and making new friends I knew I had made the right decision. . There is so much you can learn about yourself, about others, and about another country and even your own. I am very glad that I took part in the program and I would like to say a big thank you to the University of Adelaide Global Learning.

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