A review of my exchange – By Martina Patti

Greeting from Italy!! As I’m writing this, it’s been two days since I left Surrey and I can already say that I miss it. The 10 months I spent as an exchange student were, hands down, the best 10 months of my life. When I’m asked to talk about exchange, I never know where to begin… how do you sum up everything that happened in a few words? I guess I’ll just try my best and hopefully by the end of this, you guys will be convinced to come on exchange (lol).

 < picture with all the exchange student taken by the IEO after the welcome breakfast

A lot happened during exchange… trips, events, classes and exams but I think the most important thing for me were the people I met. I lived in a flat of 15 people (and I know many of you will now think how did you manage lol) but we all became friends right away and shared so many memories, from trips to events within the flat such as a flat international dinner, Secret Santa, parties or even simple movie and game nights and I can now say that the best moments of my exchange happened within the walls of Battersea Speirs and on campus (having a club on campus is GREAT, you’ll see 😉). Even the study sessions in the library during exams season were better with my friends! (the “study” part of study-abroad will catch up with you eventually ahahahah).

 < galentines with the girls in the flat

^Birthday party we organized in the flat – dress as something that starts with the first letter of your name!

 < flat party – gender swap

^secret santa + flat international dinner

^ flat international dinner – everyone cooked a dish from their home country

Here’s a few other pictures taken during some of the trips (Paris, Windsor organized by the IEO, Ireland, Belfast for St. Patrick’s Day, Cardiff – there were so many more, it was hard to choose!) and of some rubix nights.

As far as classes are concerned, for me, the way they were organized was very different from what I’m used to in Italy, but it was nice and challenging stepping out of my comfort zone and try something new! – this is a picture during a simulation we did in class trying to solve a crisis between China and the US!! A lot more engaging than at home!

Now don’t get me wrong, there will be times in which you will be sad, especially during the goodbyes… I can’t lie those were the hardest things to do, but still it will be worth it. Anyway… I just want to leave a couple of tips that personally helped a lot… enjoy everything and make the most out of it. Do everything, take part in every activity, even the ones that are outside of your comfort zone (we ran 2km under the rain and drenched in color powder) and always, always put yourself out there! Talk to new people, don’t be afraid to ask, join societies and live at the fullest because the time you get is too short and regrets are not allowed. Having said so I hope you guys enjoy your time at Surrey, as it was truly the best time of my life.

  < we even got to see the northern lights in Guildford!!

PS. If you have the chance, stay for the whole year – one semester is not enough! Trust me 😉