England Europe Exchange First impressions Student exchange Study Travel

Life at the University of Westminister

Justin – University of Westminister – London

Semester 1, 2023

Bachelor of Business / Bachelor of Communication

I can honestly say going on exchange has been one of the best decisions I’ve made in my life. I wrote in my previous letter all of my siblings have previously done overseas exchange and have come back more knowledgeable and educated about the world, culture and people in general. I feel after living overseas for the first 6 months of this year I can say the same thing. During my exchange at the University of Westminster I was able to meet a diverse range of people all from different backgrounds and cultures ranging from countries like Turkey all the way to Argentina. During my time in London I arranged my schedule to have university during the middle of the week Tuesday to Thursday, meaning I always had a long weekend to go explore London, Europe and meet up with the overseas network I’ve established.  

My time at the University of Westminster definitely had its ups and downs. I realised upon attending class there that their style of teaching was vastly different from that of QUTS. I found Westminster’s syllabus much less structured and as a result me and most other students were confused as to what learning expectations were in some of the classes I attended, meaning we constantly had to question our tutors and lecturers, this was a stark contrast to QUT where I feel like I constantly have access to the resources I need to understand and complete tasks. However, while I did not necessarily think the university of Westminster had the best structure, studying with them allowed me access to opportunities I do not think I would be granted otherwise. For example, during my time there I was granted the opportunity to work directly with charities and brands such as the RSPCA and John Lewis to perform tasks relevant to the field I want to breach into post-graduation. I also now have expanded my international network which was a goal I previously outlined in my previous letter. As mentioned above I now have people all over the globe which I can contact and discuss the broader business environment with, rather than just my local Australian Network.  

Another key part of exchange in London was the ability to travel to pretty much everywhere in Europe for a low price. I remember one of the best memories is when myself and two other Westminster students decided to take a weekend trip to Denmark and travel from one side to the other over the weekend. One of the best aspects of living in London is the ability to fly to all these amazing places for ridiculously low airfares and getting to experience a wide variety of cultures and places. I think overall in my time overseas I visited 18 countries through use of the cheap flight network and got to experience things I never would have been able to normally experience living here in Australia. I was still able to easily balance my studies while travelling and therefore was never overtly stressed. While travelling I also had the added benefit of having both my brother and sister travelling Europe at the same time as me, meaning I had the support of family while travelling and didn’t miss home too much. I did miss Australia on occasions when London would be quite grey and cloudy and I missed the Australian sun, or when I was travelling and staying in Hostels with other people and missed the comfort of my own bed. However, the excitement of constantly being somewhere new and exploring filled me with excitement.  

Overall, I would say my exchange experience was one that was amazing, and I would not trade it for the world. I would say I enjoyed my time in London and at the University of Westminster, however, definitely prefer QUT as my educational institution just because I believe I learn more here. That being said I don’t believe people embark on Exchange for the purpose of strictly education, but more for the experience of travel and culture, which I believe I received. I would highly recommend the exchange program as it presents the opportunity for students to receive a fresh perspective on the world, and experience the delights of international culture outside of Australia.  

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

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