Why go on exchange? Where will I go on exchange? Why escape the comfort of family and friends?
These were the questions I asked myself at 23:59PM on the night of the exchange application deadline. Even after submitting I still had doubts about whether I had made the correct choices with my preferences or if I should even be going on exchange in the first place. However, no matter wherever you go I can guarantee you that you will not regret your decision one bit and let me tell you why!
The Harry Potter vibes of the University of Glasgow are definitely a contrast to the modern buildings of UNSW. However, it adds to the history of Glasgow being the 4th oldest institution in the English-Speaking world having been established in 1451. Undoubtedly adjusting to the new city has been a challenge through dealing with the daily inconsistent rain or fiercely bitter wind in the morning or just trying to navigate my way between the labyrinth of alleyways and paths around the new campus. I mean it is pretty cool to be learning about Finite Element Analysis inside the remnants of an old church, right?
While class can get quite intense, the fellow students you meet and the priceless memories you meet all makes up for it. The university held social events such as Scottish dancing lessons and tours to make you feel at home from day one. Glasgow being such a global city has allowed me to meet so many interesting people from around the world, everyone is super friendly to each other and are always down for a quick pint after class. Being in Europe allows you to take advantage of all the cheap budget flights to travel to other cities for a quick weekend trip with your newfound friends. So far, I’ve been to London and Munich and I’ve had an absolute blast!
Going on exchange represents the best student/personal development program you can get. Whether it’s the daunting experience of arriving in a city knowing absolute nobody or just trying to work out why the hot water isn’t running in the middle of the night you will always meet someone along the way to help you out. Being an exchange student, I have been placed in a flat with fellow exchange student it leads to a very homely affair back in the flat as you start sharing meals and leads to the opportunity to try various cuisines. Nevertheless, the discovery of a new level of independence and being away from home for such an extended period of time has added a whole new dimension to my life.
Whether it is for the new environment and culture, education, opportunities to travel or all of the above exchange is something you should definitely not miss out on. Having been on exchange for the past 2 months I can confidently say that it has been one of the best parts of my life and I look forward to what experiences I get up to next. Being an engineering student, your application fee gets waived which is an added bonus.