I’m not much of a writer but here goes. My semester exchange to the University of Nottingham in the United Kingdom came upon by studying a Bachelor of Commerce in International Business and Corporate Finance. Without the requirements of having to partake in a semester abroad, personally I don’t think I would have left Adelaide and what a huge mistake that would have been.
I have been overseas for approximately 2 months now and what an experience it has been so far. I chose to travel for a month with some close mates, where we visited Scotland, the Greek Islands and Munich for Oktoberfest. I have come up with a few tips that I have come across whilst traveling and at the University of Nottingham that I hope will help someone, as I had no idea what I was doing before I came overseas.
Travel before, after or whilst you’re at Uni. It will help you understand how society operates; but more importantly, it will teach you more about yourself. I was lucky enough to be in Europe whilst it was summer so I didn’t even think twice about going to Greece. If you are from the other side of the world and your Chosen University is in Europe, I think it will be foolish if you don’t travel. The longest plane trip you will be on will be around 3 hours, where Australia is 20 hours away. You don’t get to come to Europe everyday so definitely make the most of it whilst you’re there.
Nottingham offered catered and self-catered halls. I chose to stay on catered halls due to the fact that high quality food was being cooked for you and the extra stress of budgeting for food each week isn’t necessary in a catered hall. If you’re worried about the food being horrible, think again. I can speak on what I’ve seen and tasted but the quality of the food here is great. Unless, you enjoy cooking your own specific meals or you are on a diet 24/7, I would recommend that you stay on campus at University Park here at Nottingham.
Make sure you pack every jumper that you own. When people say England is cold, they weren’t joking. I thought since I’m only in the UK till January I’ll be right with a few jumpers; I’ve been proven wrong 4 weeks into Uni. Basically, I’ve had to go buy myself a new wardrobe because there hasn’t been a day above 15 degrees here. So definitely stock up on jumpers.
I’m going to be honest, you will go through some tough times where you feel isolated and wanting to go home, but I feel like that is normal. It will just take time to integrate into society by understanding their norms. You need to realize that you are in a different country, not having a beer at the local pub 200 metres from your house. The universities have great support staff around you so you shouldn’t be worried at all. I can say I have already made some life long friends and met some people that I never would have come across if I had stayed in Adelaide. An exchange will open up your view on life, and it definitely will be an experience you will never regret.