I made the decision to experience an overseas exchange after receiving an email from QUT advertising the opportunity to complete one. The QUT Business Exchange was so great to deal with in any questions I had that they could assist with, including sponsoring me with a $1000 bursary which was great as this covered most of my tuition for the two-week course.
As a post-graduate student studying a Master of International Business, I wanted to ensure my exchange could be credited towards my course – as although the experience would be beneficial from a personal development perspective, I also thought it was very important to gain an international experience I could as part of my degree. I chose to complete a two-week exchange at LUISS University in Rome focused on “International Trade and Law”.
LUISS University is a private university. It is a beautiful campus, with a community garden, cafeteria, café, and a small vineyard!
The course itself was great. We had guest lecturers every day and I was amazed at some of the lecturers we had and were able to communicate with. One lecturer was an Appellate Judge with the World Trade Organisation (WTO), another was an Egyptian Diplomat and a secretary for Food Securities for the United Nations. Their stories, experiences and knowledge was so insightful and allowed me to learn so much. It gave me access to contacts I would not have met staying in Australia. Because we had guest lecturers every day, there was a slight lack of continuity – not in content; rather not enough time to build rapport with one teacher. Often the sessions weren’t too interactive either, as the guests were trying to get through a lot of information (although they were all very open to questions and willing to have us contact them afterwards if we had queries). We had one final paper to write if we wanted credit towards our course.
Italy itself is amazing! I love the culture and history. The food is exquisite and the people are so proud of their heritage; they are very hospitable and kind. Rome itself is great to explore! I spent my weekends exploring the city, including the Borghese gardens, Trevi fountain and, my personal favourite, the Colosseum.
I was in Rome in July so the weather was hot! 40 degrees most days – but I was able to visit Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast after my time in Rome and enjoy swimming in the beautiful Mediterranean sea!
My trip to Rome is something I will treasure for the rest of my life. Not only was it an amazing place to travel to and to be able to experience in real life; but being immersed in Italian culture, eating the world’s best pasta, pizza and gelato and learning more about history was incredible. I thoroughly enjoyed the course at LUISS University. Two weeks of lectures from 9:30am-4:30pm every day was quite intensive, but in Italy, you have a two-hour lunch break so it was very manageable. It was my first introduction to law as a subject and being introduced to lecturers from the WTO, United Nations and lawyers involved in International Commercial Arbitration was an experience I learnt so much from and would not have had access to in Australia.
I highly recommend any student experiencing and overseas exchange if possible…you won’t regret it!