The QUT exchange program provided me with a range of opportunities and experiences. I spent the last semester studying abroad in England at the University of Birmingham through the QUT exchange program. Beginning classes in late September, I was not only studying on the other side of the world, but I had elected to be living in university accommodation. In doing this I found a tremendous school spirit amongst all university members who all had great pride in attending UoB. It was here that I was able to make life long friends who were studying a range of degrees from business to medicine to geology. Living so far away from everyone and everything I knew also forced me to grow greatly as not only a student but as an individual. I have come to realise that so much of life is connected through the people we meet and the actions we take. The acceptance of others and myself has also been a great lesson I’ve gained from this experience. In addition to this, I believe that my academic knowledge has grown exponentially, which I attribute to the different teaching techniques I was exposed to while on the exchange.
The university life at UoB was greatly different to that at QUT. Although each student took six units per semester instead of the usual four taken at QUT, the workload still seemed manageable. Each day would begin with 9am lectures and seminars that continued until 6pm when all classes concluded for the day. Although many students were given fuller timetables than those found at QUT, the extra time allowed for private study helped to decrease stress given the workload. The facilities provided to Birmingham students were outstanding. These included the incredibly resourceful library, which was home to many students for most of the day and often night during exam block, and the personal tutor program provided. This entailed each student being assigned to a member of the UoB staff, who was able to guide students through university life, providing any assistance, whether that were directing a student to the correct member of faculty or providing an ear when exams were looming. Many of the students agreed that this was a great benefit to adjusting at university. I believe that the QUT exchange program was able to provide me with a truly life changing experience and would greatly recommend it and University of Birmingham to anyone considering partaking in the exchange program.
One of the university buildings
The clock tower named “Old Joe” on the center of campus