Three down, Two to go

I like to think of going on exchange just like moving out of home for the first time, but with extra steps. There’s the feeling of limitless freedom at your fingertips and mountains of things to do, see and explore. However, being so far away from home brings a lot of things that you may not consider.
Being abroad isn’t all about the pretty instagram photos and cool foods. There’s a lot of times where you gotta eat the same thing for two weeks straight because eggs are “buy one get one free” and you’ve been shopping a lil’ too heavily lately.
money saving aside, being abroad is an amazing opportunity to connect with people from all across the world, I mean, in the morning i could be cooking Korean and later be feasting on authentic Spanish home-cooked cuisine. Some of my most enjoyable dinners were spent comparing the differences of our lives in our home country over a hotpot or some strange looking concoction that still somehow tasted good
That’s another thing, being abroad is probably the only time where people really like your Australian accent. People just love hearing me speak for some reason.
Those things aside, i underestimated how much being abroad would change “me”
I remember first coming to Hong Kong and being slack jawed at literally everything and generally sticking out like a sore thumb as “another one of those damn tourists.” Eventually however, i came to understand how things worked and soon enough i was pacing through the streets of Mong Kok like a local
I mean i give directions to people every now and then, that’s how much I’ve integrated. There’s a whole bunch of little changes that you don’t really realise that eventually pile on. But don’t worry, when you come back home you’ll be super cultured and stuff.
To finish, i think i should share some top tips for you guys when you do take the plunge into exchange
1: Souvenirs guys, cheap $1 key chains from Australia will definitely be appreciated by the people that you meet abroad. Give em to people for them friendship points
2: If you live in a dorm, MAKE FRIENDS WITH THE SECURITY GUARDS. They’re more likely to turn a blind eye to situations when you come home at 5 am in a less than sober state
3: Get amongst it. initially you might be inclined to not stray too far from the beaten path, but some of the coolest things you can do in a country are well kept secrets that don’t show up on tourist guides
 
So keep tuned on the updates guys, i’m not home just yet

Ei-ffel in love with Paris

Marcella Denaro – Bachelor of Business
Universite Paris Dauphine (Semester 1, 2017 Exchange)

My exchange experience is one I will definitely treasure forever. What an amazing opportunity to be able to immerse yourself in a foreign country while partaking in a completely different study regime and culture. Paris’ Universite Dauphine was extremely welcoming to the large amount of foreign students arriving from all over the globe and made the transition almost seamless, particularly as the vast majority spoke minimal French. As an ex-United Nations building, the campus was vast and housed many conference rooms that no-doubt used to host many dignitaries and discussions.

Paris as a city takes your breath away every day. It is a city with no shortage of good food and beautiful architecture that can be found nowhere else. I would often spend my afternoons reading in Jardin du Luxembourg, just a ten minute walk from where I lived where you can spot the top of the Eiffel Tower. It is those moments that I have really missed since returning home. I’d recommend learning some basic French before embarking on a trip to Paris as the locals really appreciate it.

Paris was the perfect city for me and I would not change anything about my experience. I traveled to amazing places and met people I still keep in touch with. I could not recommend exchange more!

Life in the Brookes!

Kelli Sealy – Bachelor of Design (Honours)
Oxford Brookes University, England (Semester 1, 2017).

My Exchange in Oxford, UK was one of the best experiences of my life! I loved living in such a beautiful city that is rich with history and stunning architectural buildings are around every corner. Oxford is home to many places of interest such as the prestigious University of Oxford which is scattered throughout the town center. The Divinity School located within Oxford University is one of many locations used in the filming of Harry Potter and was breathtaking to visit!

Each weekend a group of friends and I would go on short trips to various spots around England. We went to Brighton and spent the day eating fish and chips on the pier. The ultimate bucket list experience! We also traveled down to Cornwall on the South-west coast of England and hiked up to Tintagel Castle and the views over the cliffs were breathtaking. The beauty of going on Exchange in England is that it’s quite a small country (in comparison to Australia) so traveling around was pretty easy to do!

I absolutely loved my exchange experience; I only wish I could’ve stayed longer! My advice to students who are considering going on Exchange is do it! Also make sure you plan and prepare as much as you possibly can before you leave and keep an open mind when you’re overseas. Say yes to absolutely everything and try new things! You will meet super fun people who have a similar mindset, some of which will become life-long friends.