Study Abroad in Australia

Isobel Kavanagh, BA English Literature with Creative Writing

I’m Isobel, I study English Literature with Creative Writing, and in 2022, I made the nerve-wracking but remarkably good decision to study abroad in Australia. I chose a university in a coastal city called Wollongong, where the walk to your classes is canopied by palm trees and after they end you head to the beach! 

Wollongong is on the Illawarra coast, which runs about a hundred or so miles down the coast of Sydney, so while it is a smaller city, it is equipped with everything you could possibly need. Shopping malls, museums, galleries, free shuttle buses, train stations, and did I mention beaches? 

Nestled at the bottom of bushy Mount Keira, the University of Wollongong offers a wide variety of courses, which I found to be very flexible in their enrolment. As an English student back home at Surrey, in Australia I was able to try new subjects across the Humanities sphere that I hadn’t done at degree level before, such as History and Philosophy. Australian grading systems are also, in my experience, a little easier than in the UK, which means the pressure’s dialled down a little! And when mid-semester breaks come around, you can escape the library and explore not only surrounding towns and cities, but the beautiful and vastly different states and territories of Australia’s enormous continent. I was lucky enough to spend a week travelling up the east coast, to Brisbane and Cairns in Queensland, with a highlight of the Great Barrier Reef. A little later in the year, I went further afield to Asia, for a wonderful week in Indonesia and Singapore. The scenery and my sense experiences of both countries were nothing short of phenomenal. 

“Wherever in the world piques your interest, I couldn’t recommend studying abroad more highly”

Wherever in the world piques your interest, I couldn’t recommend studying abroad more highly. Naturally, I’m biased, but I can only emphasise the benefits of going to Australia. It’s extremely far away and an expensive journey, but Surrey’s financial and informative resources make it more accessible for students on PTY (Professional Training Year) than it might be in other life stages or circumstances. There is help and guidance to make it possible and, for me anyway, it was not an opportunity I would imagine will materialise for me twice. So, if like I did, you’ve got a little voice in your head asking, ‘What if I went mad and did it?’, then I urge you to trust your gut, and promise you won’t have regrets.