London Living

Alexander Aikman., Bachelor of Business / Bachelor of Creative Industries

University of Westminster, United Kingdom (Semester 1, 2019)

The University of Westminster is located in central London. The campus is compact and modern in its layout. One of the best parts about university life for me was playing rugby for Westminster. Joining a sports team was a great way to connect with people and I would highly recommend it for anyone going on exchange.

As expected, the cost of rent and groceries within London was steep. However, there are a lot of discounts on offer for students. Including a discounted travel card for the tube and bus services. There were also a lot of free attractions to be taken advantage of during my exchange. These included the British Museum, Borough and Camden Markets as well as Hyde Park to name a few.

Another one of London’s perks is the travel. Trains from London go across the UK. Allowing for easy exploration across the country on weekends. Better still were the cheap flights across Europe. I spent much of my free time travelling to other countries. Every holiday and long weekend I would travel somewhere new. Travelling to Norway with friends from Uni and travelling solo across southern Europe were true highlights of my trip. And I would encourage anyone to try travelling both in a group and on your own.

The exchange program is an opportunity to try new experiences. The best advice I can offer is explore as much as you can. Travel to someplace different. Meet new people from other countries and experience their culture. Finally, if you’re going to a big city such as London, then be travel smart. A healthy dose of paranoia and scepticism will save you a lot of grief. But above all, make your exchange memorable.

Reconnecting with Friends and Family all over the World

Sylvia L., Bachelor of Business/Creative Industries
Hochschule Darmstadt, Germany (Semester 2, 2016)

Student exchange is one of the things you have to experience in your life. Even if you don’t know the language, it is worth it just to immerse yourself in another country’s culture, meet new people from all over the world (free accommodation when you’re travelling in their country now!), and truly a fun experience overall.

I undertook my student exchange in Darmstadt Germany, at the Hochschule Darmstadt studying Animation and Game. Not many people have heard of Darmstadt despite it being the headquarters of the European Space Agency, and students from the Graphic Design faculty at Hochschule Darmstadt recently had the opportunity to design the logo for the 2018 ISS mission. Located near Frankfurt, it was very easy to travel around Europe, which of course I did. Belgium, France, Czech Republic, Austria, England and even more.

German Christmas Markets

Some people have the idea that Germans are very unfriendly, I beg to differ, with the exception of bus drivers. The number of methods they have to cook potatoes is unbelievable and I truly miss all the cake and bread, especially the bread, nothing compares. While I was there I got to experience the Christmas Markets which Germany is famous for, they were absolutely magical and I discovered my love for potato pancakes and apple mousse.

Heaps of places to travel

Personally I felt that uni was easier in Germany then Australia. The system there allows you to retake exams if you fail them and I found there was a lot less pressure because of that. I really enjoyed my units there, especially the games methodology lecture where 50% of the time it would just be the lecturer playing games on the original NSES with lots of references to modern gaming thrown in.

The people I met over there were what made the trip truly worth it, especially those that you know will remain life-long friends despite the large distance between you.

Catching up with old friends and family

Another highlight of my trip that I am extremely grateful for that student exchange allowed was reconnecting with friends and family from my childhood. Spending time with my cousins in France and England, staying with old neighbours in Berlin and Benshiem, eating dinner with my grandmother’s family along the Rhine, those were the best moments.

I highly recommend for everyone to go on exchange. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity and you learn and gain so much knowledge, connections, and an unforgettable experience.