Studying: International Studies and Commerce
Host University: University of Miami
Home University: Flinders University
When: S2 2012
Orientation at Miami University:
Was very useful. They went through how to get around the area, how to apply for a bank account, what we could do if we wanted to get a job, what we needed to do if we wanted to extend for a semester, our visa requirements and those people who could help us.
What were the academic workloads and requirements like at Miami vs. Flinders?
It was much less, which made it much easier to enjoy my time while I was there.
What resources/facilities were provided to exchange students?
There were events, accommodation, and contacts to help us.
My accommodation was: on-campus
Would you recommend living on-campus?
Yes, because it was much simpler. It wasn’t great accommodation but those who did not live on campus missed out on a lot of socialising.
What financial assistance did you access to help fund your exchange?
I accessed the OS-Help loan, Flinders Mobility Scholarship, and continued receiving student payments from Centrelink whilst abroad whilst helped a lot with the cost of living.
The major cultural difference between Miami and Flinders?
People were very outgoing in the US but I also found them quite sheltered in comparison to Australians.
Was it easy to make friends on your exchange?
I found that it was easiest to make friends with other exchange students. Having said that I did made some close local friends – but most of the Australians had more in common with each other and other exchange students and wanted to make the most of our semester abroad.
I struggled with: Homesickness a couple of times.
A typical day at Miami University was:
Wake up at 9 and eat breakfast at the dining hall, go to class for a couple hours, come back and eat lunch and study for a little bit or go to the pool or the gym. Perhaps an hour or more of classes later in the day and then dinner and hanging out with friends.
What was the highlight of your program?
The friends I made.
What tips and advice would you give to someone who’s going on a student exchange?
Just enjoy yourself (and don’t spend TOO much time doing homework).