The one must have item is a laptop so you can keep in touch with family and friends back home. The whole experience is very exciting but you will have down time when you aren’t travelling, studying or partying and you will begin to miss everyone at home! My one travel tip is to always go with a friend if you are going somewhere after dark. It doesn’t matter how smart you are or how able you are to navigate yourself around, you are in a foreign country and something could always go wrong. I flew over with Qantas and bought travel insurance through World Nomads. Both companies did their jobs well.
Personally, the exchange experience made me more willing to put myself ‘out there’ for people, and to communicate with people I’ve never met before. You will meet a lot of people overseas and you won’t learn anything new if you keep to yourself! Academically, I took on subjects that may have been a little out of my competency but pushed myself to ensure I learned the content. This helped me understand the value of hard work while at university: sometimes, you’re not just going to understand something straight away. You need to keep chipping away at it.
Professionally, exchange made me realise the competition for graduate spots once uni is over. There are millions of students out there, and sometimes you forget this while at QUT. Going overseas exposed me to other students around the world who are all fighting for a job once they’ve finished studying. I would definitely recommend the exchange experience! There’s the opportunity to travel, meet plenty of great people and learn new things about yourself.