Hey, I’m Sarah and I’m a third year history student from the University of Leicester in England. I am currently on a student exchange at Flinders University and am loving it. I hope to entertain you all with tales of the highs and lows of being a study abroad student in Australia as well as all the travelling I plan to get up to on my year abroad. I hope you enjoy!
Do I really prefer a university that I’ve been at for only a few months rather the one that has been my home for the last two years? Has the Australian student life really won me over that quickly? These are the questions I’ve been debating myself over the past few days so I decided to put my thoughts into words and share it with you all.
I LOVE the University of Leicester and choose to spend most of my time there, preferring the city of Leicester to my home town of Southampton. The diversity of the university and the beautiful surrounding areas amaze me every time. But Flinders University is also pretty amazing and as the weather is beginning to warm up, I find myself growing to like it even more.
So what makes Flinders so good that it has managed to win me over in the space of a few weeks? Well, I’ll tell you.
Okay, so it may be sat up on top of a MASSIVE hill that never fails to wear me out on my way to class everyday but it is such a beautiful location. You can see the sea from pretty much anywhere on campus (unlike Leicester which is apparently closer to space than the sea!) and being from Southampton, I love to be near the sea. The accommodation is also only a five minute walk away which is fantastic if you (accidentally) get out of bed too late!
LEFT: View of the sea on my way home from university.
RIGHT: My walk to university.
Not going to lie, Leicester is a pretty grey university. I mean, it does have the huge Victoria Park next to it where I love to sit in the summer, but the actual campus itself is just a bunch of buildings. Buildings on a campus which I love of course! But Flinders is a much more varied (and much bigger) campus compared to Leicester and I am still trying to explore it all. Just the other day I stumbled across a random temple in a part of campus I had never been to before! To get to my classes I have to walk through a number of pretty courtyards where fruit trees grow and where there are benches beside ponds. It’s pretty cool. There is also a massive lake in the middle of campus which will be lovely in the summer. Not to mention the numerous places to eat and drink and generally meet up with friends!
LEFT: Random temple I stumbled upon.
RIGHT: Fruit trees on campus.
So I did LOVE Beaumont Hall at Leicester and having my own en-suite with a bath was amazing. And so were the slidey windows and the itchy dog hair carpet. Okay, so not the carpet so much. But Beaumont was my home for a year and I loved it. But does it really compare to a flat which has a balcony with a sea view and a room that looks like this?
And I know we got a bit of local wildlife in Leicester (if I looked outside late at night I could see the foxes tearing the bin bags to shreds) but could I ever look out my window and see things like this?
No, I thought not. And that’s the reason Flinders wins on accommodation too.
LEFT: A kookaburra.
RIGHT: A koala outside my balcony.
I suppose that you wouldn’t expect the culture at Australian universities to be much different to that of England, right? Well, I didn’t really expect much different either to be honest. But I’ve found that it really is quite different to England! Which is nice. I got SO bored of the same old thing every week back home that I stopped going out on a Saturday night and loved it. So when I came to Australia I planned to carry this on and save all of my money for travelling. Turns out I didn’t need to as everyone I’ve met at Flinders so far is pretty reserved too. This means I can have a great relaxed night with a bottle of wine and some friends and not have to dress up fancy and look like a fool on the dance floor. Win win really. However, I do have to say that I am not a fan of GOON (For those who do not know, this is wine in a sack) And yes, it really does taste as bad as it sounds!
ABOVE: Having fun without alcohol is the way forward.
Microwaves On Campus
Need I say anymore? This is such a great idea, why does Leicester not have this?!
So there you have it. Just a few reasons why Flinders University is slowly winning me over. I’m sure I will discover a few more over time but hopefully not so many that I don’t want to head back to Leicester! Because I do LOVE Leicester…