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Three degrees winter weather

For my study exchange this year, I attended Bath Spa University in southwest England for five months. It was one of the best and most valuable experiences of my life. I met people from all over the world, got to travel extensively in Europe, and made priceless friendships and connections.

I stayed in halls at Bath Spa, which helped me to make friends, and also meant that I could wake up ten minutes before my classes! I studied two creative writing subjects and one film theory class. I really enjoyed all of my classes, and got on well with my teachers and peers. I am studying creative writing at QUT, so to experience a different approach to teaching writing was very interesting.

While I was in Bath my best friend was a girl called Claire from the United States. She was on exchange from Colombia College in Chicago. I never thought that I would make such a good friend who was from a different country. We even travelled together for a month after we finished exchange to a music festival in Spain, then to Malta, Italy and Hungary. And now I have a great excuse to visit the US, and a place to stay in Chicago!

I had been to England briefly once before, on my gap year in 2012. However, I have never lived in a country other than Australia. I thought that living in England would be really similar to Australia, as our cultures seem fairly the same. But I was wrong! For one, we arrived in the middle of winter, so it was freezing. Bath Spa University is located three miles outside the city of Bath on a property that used to be a farm. The campus was beautiful, even in winter, and had a lake that froze over in January!

I started going running as soon as I started living in Bath. I used to run down the driveway that goes up to the campus, and then into town. If I felt lazy I would catch the bus home. In winter it was sometimes as cold as 3 degrees Celsius when I was running. It was actually a nice change from running in Brisbane, where in summer it gets to thirty degrees by 10am, so you have to go early in the morning. In Bath I could go for a run whenever it fit in with my university schedule. The path was also nice and flat, another positive change from the Brisbane hills. I ran with the Bath Spa running club once or twice but they were too fast for me.

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