Canada North America Student exchange Travel

The Exchange of a Lifetime in Guelph

Timothy – University of Guelph – Canada

Semester 2, 2022

Bachelor of Property Economics / Bachelor of Business

First and foremost, I cannot thank QUT enough for granting me the opportunity of a lifetime to go on exchange. While the planning and many months leading up to the exchange were some of the most stressful of my life, the experience which I had on exchange absolutely made it all worth it. The experience at large has been the most rewarding period of my life. I feel like I my perspectives and views on the world have changed for the better and I have ultimately been able to grow as a person. My one and only regret from this time abroad is that I have not done a full year’s exchange abroad and not considered completing my full degree away from home.

This exchange has inspired me to travel more and learn more about different cultures which lie outside of my comfort zone. In my first week on campus, I was lucky enough to meet other foreign exchange students, where I became friends with a small group of fellow Australian exchange students. We maintained our strong bond throughout the semester and travelled with each other throughout the semester. From closer destinations such as Toronto and Montreal, to international locations such as Cancun in Mexico, we loved spending time with each other and already have plans to meet back up in Australia. Beyond this group of friends, I had an incredible group of friends who I spent every day within my residence. Saying goodbye to this group was one of the hardest things I have had to do. I plan on coming back to Canada later this year to see everyone again.

While the experience challenged me immensely at times, I am so grateful as I have been forced to learn from them and develop as a human. Particularly in the earlier stages of the exchange I experienced home-sickness. I was so lucky to have already made some close friends in Guelph and a supportive family back home who I could speak to.

In terms of academics, despite knowing that I was only required to pass each subject, I found that I still worked hard and regularly attended each class, such was the learning culture and environment. I found that living on campus and amongst individuals who were academically motivated was extremely conductive to my academic work. Gaining a weekly routine of going to class and living within a short walking distance from my classes was effective and helpful towards my work. I really enjoyed attending class. Given I was doing 3rd and 4th year subjects, lecture class sizes were much smaller, and I felt that each lecturer was approachable and genuinely cared about how I was going. Each of my three subjects had group work components. While I enjoy individual work, I believe that this semester I have begun to enjoy group assignments more and improved myself in this area.

I tried to involve myself as much as possible within the university community. On Monday nights I played intra-mural futsal with my Australian group. Tuesday nights we often went to trivia at the university bar. Thursday nights I played dodgeball or basketball with my residence friend group. Friday and Saturday nights were often spend watching the university ice hockey game or going to the bars and clubs in the town. The life which I was fortunate enough to live in Guelph I will always look back on fondly and wish I was still there.

While I am excited to go home and see my family and friends, the life-long friends that I have made over here I will always miss. I have found my home away from home and will without a doubt be back.

Without the QUT exchange program, I wouldn’t have been able to meet some of the most amazing people and visit some of the most amazing places. I will be forever grateful for my time abroad and never forget this incredible experience. While it was tough to say goodbye, I know that I’ll be back.

Find out how you can apply for exchange via the QUT Student Exchange website.

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