I was an exchange student studying at our partner university – the University of Sydney. I had never travelled to Australia before and was very excited to see what the country had to offer. When I started my semester at the University I realised that the campus was enormous, and I was eager to start my semester.
Initially, my first thought was that the campus was so big that it was going to be hard to find all my classes, but luckily it wasn’t so difficult in the end. The learning experience at the University was similar in some ways to Surrey and different in other aspects. One thing in particular, about the learning experience that I noticed was that there were more regular assessments than I had at Surrey. For example, at Surrey I pretty much only had mid-semester and final exams, whereas at Sydney I had a range of assessments from quizzes, assignments, multiple mid-semester exams and then my final exams. I felt that this system was good because it kept students constantly working throughout the duration of the semester. However, I personally think that the University lacked support for the students, and maybe that was due to the University being so big.
I was lucky enough to get the opportunity to travel around Australia and New Zealand whilst being on exchange. I managed to do this after I had finished my final exams. I managed to visit Sydney, Melbourne and a variety of places alongside the east coast during my time in Australia. My favourite place was definitely the Great Barrier Reef area and the Whitsundays beach. These were amazing destinations to visit and are world class travel destinations. I managed to travel from Queenstown in a campervan all the way from the bottom of the South Island to the top, and that was an experience I’ll never forget as New Zealand is a truly beautiful country.
The whole student exchange experience is an experience I’ll never forget. The ability to step outside of your comfort zone and try new things, becoming more independent, meet new people and make new friends, studying in a different country and embracing their education system, and the memories you make within the 5 months are amazing. I would recommend anyone, if they have the chance, to definitely go on student exchange as it’ll be an experience that will benefit you in so many ways.
Vincent Tu, Economics and Maths