Accommodation England Europe Travel

Studying and Exploring for 6 months in Europe

Lauren – Bayes Business School (City University of London) – England

Semester 1, 2023

Bachelor of Business/ Bachelor of Creative Industries (Entertainment)

A semester abroad to London was an amazing experience that I would recommend to anyone interested in exchange. Situated in the centre of London in a suburb called Angel, City University of London was a great place to study for a semester. It is extremely well connected to the city which allowed me to study as well as explore what London has to offer at the same time.

Preparing for Exchange

Every student who has applied for exchange will probably say the exact same thing when it comes to the application process: it’s long, takes a lot of your time, and can sometimes be incredibly frustrating when you can’t find the right units to match to your study plan. I was in the position where many of my units were getting rejected by my faculty, and I had to keep searching and waiting to see if they would be approved. It takes a lot of effort and patience, but it is so incredibly worth it. I got my acceptance in October (2022) for my semester which started in January (2023), so I had two months to organise plane tickets and accommodation. As you can imagine, this was incredibly daunting given the time crunch, but it was also so exciting.

Realistically, exchange is quite expensive in terms of accommodation, transport, food, and travel. It is important that you take the opportunity to work lots before you leave, to build up savings. I decided not to work during the six-month period of my exchange, and I’m so glad I didn’t because it gave me the flexibility to travel to a different place for the weekend. It also meant that I could balance studying with exploring, because I had more time to complete my assessment in times I wasn’t travelling.

During the Semester

Many universities offer student accommodation, and some don’t, so it’s important you check what your housing options are before deciding on a university to make sure something will work for you. While City University of London did not offer student accommodation to exchange students only studying for a semester, they provided many platforms and services which can help you search. In my case, I was lucky enough to know some other QUT students who were also embarking on an exchange to London, so we ended up searching for a house to rent and live in together. This worked really well as it was great to have a few familiar faces and we were able to be a great support network for each other. Whilst I understand living with people you know isn’t going to be possible for everyone, if there is an opportunity to meet some people from QUT before going overseas at exchange workshops, I recommend taking it. Moving overseas is big, so having some familiar faces is definitely a good idea.

Studying at Bayes was a great experience because while there are some elements which were quite like QUT, a lot was different. Their campus is much smaller, but still has a library and many other working and social spaces. They offered a large range of business modules, with some of my classes being a lecture and a tutorial per week, and others just having one two-hour lecture.  This meant that lectures were quite interactive. Their exchange department was on campus, and I found they responded to their emails quickly, so they were a great help. Being in the centre of London, it was easy to head to class for the morning and then catch the tube to explore and do something fun in the afternoon. My advice would be to obviously do the best you can in your studies, but you’re also in a new city, so take every opportunity to see it!

Experiencing London weather was interesting in comparison to Australia, where the first few months of the year were freezing cold, and often very rainy and gloomy. This takes some getting used to and can be quite annoying when you want to do something outside, but it does get better, and London has some beautiful weather in Spring and Summer.


My absolute favourite part of exchange is how it allowed me to see so much of Europe. At Bayes, they provided alternative assessment for exchange students, so we did not have to stay for their exam period, which meant my semester was only three months long. Having planned for a six-month exchange, I decided to spend the other three months travelling Europe. Something fantastic about London is that it is literally a three-hour train ride from countries like France, Belgium, The Netherlands, and Scotland. Many other countries are only like an hour flight away, and flights are so cheap. It is so easy to visit basically anywhere you want to in Europe for a spontaneous weekend, or a planned few months like I did after the semester was over. I went to so many new countries, tried so much new food, met lots of people along the way and have made memories I will cherish forever. The 24-hour travel journey to get to that side of the world hurts at the time but is so worth it in the long-run. I’m so glad I did my exchange in London and am so grateful to have been given the opportunity to study abroad by QUT.


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

Write A Comment