Choosing a university Clubs and societies England Exchange Student exchange Study

London Travels And Adventures 

Tom – City University of London – England

Semester 1, 2023

Bachelor of Information Technology

I first applied for this incredible experience all the way back in March of 2022 when I attended the QUT exchange seminar to get an idea of what to expect and the requirements for exchange. Studying a dual degree of IT and Business back then meant that I had to find subjects that would match up with my degree. I was already unsure if I wanted to continue studying finance with IT and worked out that it would be easier for myself and the possibility of exchange if I were to change to a single degree in IT and instead just have a minor of business, freeing up four electives for me to take the international exchange minor and choose whichever subjects I liked. This took an immense amount of stress, time and planning off my hands. Throughout the rest of the year I had to stay up to date with requests from QUT for documents and complete the application process which was easy enough. The only major thing I had to do, besides getting my overseas cores approved by my faculty, was to write about why I wanted to go on exchange and what I hoped to get out of it.  

After I found out I was accepted by QUT and had been nominated by them at my first (out of three) choice of universities it was just a waiting game. Despite this being sent in mid-August, being approved by QUT in mid-September, I anxiously waited until November for the official offer from City, University of London. This meant that I only had around two months to finalise my plans, find accommodation and just get myself ready for it!  








Went for a quick dip in lake Como, so cold.  

I was lucky enough to travel over with two other friends who were also living in London and meet a third there who had already arrived a few weeks earlier to do some winter travelling. Having three other people with me who I already knew made the experience so much easier. Being able to know who I was going to be sharing the next four months with in our AirBnb was very reassuring. In saying this, there were another dozen or so QUT students who were staying in London at a range of universities who we met prior to leaving and throughout our time in London. Chatting with them, they said they had also gravitated towards fellow Aussies but, like me and many others, had met plenty of new friends from the UK and beyond.   

  Friday night drinks at a pub on liverpool st Lucky enough to watch some chelsea games 

Studying at City was thankfully very straightforward. The support from their study abroad faculty was amazing. We had a main representative who kept us up to date with opportunities and events that we could be a part of, and helped get us settled into uni life with an orientation week with fellow exchange students from around the world. Starting classes was easy as everyone loves an Aussie and I was excited to be there and hang out with some new people. I didn’t feel out of place anywhere, my classmates were supportive and eager to hang out, with some memorable activities including going out with people to discover just a small part of London’s incredible night life, go to the tones & I/Macklemore concert, visit Camden, Chelsea, Brick Lane, Borough, Covent and Greenwich markets, or be lucky enough to go to a few football games with another who was a Chelsea VIP member!  

Seeing Macklemore and Tones & I at Wembley was incredible  

Throughout the term I learnt a range of new perspectives and really enjoyed the experience of being in a new place to have a fresh approach to learning. Hearing some strong accents from around Europe was one of the random big picture moments I had where it hit me how lucky I was to be able to be part of such an amazing opportunity. Being surrounded by people who were so similar but different made classes more interesting and engaging (as weird and simple as it is) because it was new and unfamiliar.  

Had to take my obligatory London phone box photo 

The City campus was spread across two blocks in the centre of the City of London (not to be confused with London), with other campuses and libraries around the city and boroughs. Some of my teachers had worked for Microsoft and Google on driverless cars while another used to work with Mi6 in human behaviour. Knowing that I was learning something new from such interesting people made it even more enjoyable. The quality of the subjects and their content was similar to QUT and I found myself surprisingly engaged in them. This may have been because I wasn’t able to work while I was there because of my Visa so I had plenty of time to study between the rest of my London exploration. However, I did struggle with some of the expectations and layout of the teaching style and courses.  

City’s main campus just down the road from Angel and up from Barbican in the city of London. 

It makes you more aware of QUT’s teaching and resources compared to other universities as most of the rooms were set up like a high school. Back at QUT, for my IT subjects we sit around a table which means you meet a large group of people for the course. Instead, at City we sat in rows with the tutor at the front. The assessment schedule was also more traditional, with one or two written essays for most subjects, with one having a 100% exam at the end of the semester on the whole subjects’ content. Despite this, City was extremely accommodating to exchange students with the option for us to sit a much earlier exam the week after classes finished in early April, giving me an extra two months to explore the rest of the UK and spend time in the rest of Europe.  

Travelling during winter is freezing! 

QUT’s assessment requirements with exchange is also reassuring, with only a pass/fail system that freezes your GPA from the previous semester. This takes a bit of stress off the idea of studying and living on the other side of the world. Not to say that I didn’t try my best, as I knew that an opportunity like this wasn’t to be wasted and would be a great piece of experience not just for myself but to also show to future employers.  

Being surrounded by London’s history and culture was surreal 

After finishing my travels, the four of us who had been living together explored northern England for a few weeks before coming back to attend the king’s coronation, which was an incredible event to be a part of history. After this, along with what seemed like every second person from Australia, I left the UK to travel around Europe. I was lucky enough to visit a range of countries such as Poland, Germany, Netherlands, Ireland, Spain, France and Italy. Being able to travel on my own for parts of the trip was important to me as I wanted to experience things by myself and have my own adventures.  

Saying goodbye to our AirBnb after it had started feeling like home 

This is something that I really recommend to anyone considering an exchange experience. Do things that push you outside your comfort zone. While you are there studying, it’s a great thing to have a support network and home base, but also make sure you take the time to explore your surroundings and experience the range of cultures that are at your fingertips. Not only will you create some great memories for yourself and have some incredible life experiences, but you’ll also meet some amazing people along the way and learn some new things about yourself and others.  


Plan accommodation, flights and general activities earlier than your official offer so you are ready to go asap.  

If you can, travel with friends as it means you have a group of people to hang and explore with, without having to organise meetups with others; but also make a massive effort to meet new people and push yourself while you’re over there as you never know who you’ll meet. 

Save more than you expect – the QUT bursary and HECS help is amazing, but especially in big cities like London, it barely covers your accommodation costs let alone transport, food and activities 

Plan activities and trips to explore your surroundings, making the most of your time there helps to make the experience more fun and keeps you engaged 

Research everyday things before you arrive like the cheapest transport options, if your accommodation is in a good area with everything you need, think about your packing choices rationally!  

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

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