Having traveled a lot, including living overseas for six months in the past, I didn’t feel culture shock. I had no trouble adjusting at first, or in the first couple of months. My biggest issue was winter! I am a tropics girl through and through I have discovered, and the English winter, while a novelty and first, started to really get me down.
My favorite parts of the exchange were meeting people from all over the world and travelling with them. If I could pass on one piece of advice it would be don’t stick to other Aussies, get out there and socialise with locals and other exchange students from across the world. Travel on weekends, be organised with your university work so you don’t every have to turn a trip down!
I definitely grew as a person during my stay in Leeds, I discovered more about who I am as an individual, what I like in a city and what I don’t, I fell in love with London and Edinburgh, and learnt to further appreciate my home and Australia. For both academic and social reasons I wish I had done my exchange during undergrad, but I am so glad non-the-less to have had the opportunity and that I finally got to accomplish a life dream.