I have now been at the University of Miami for about three months, and I can safely say that making the decision to study abroad at the University of Miami is one of the best decisions that I have ever made. Although it was extremely daunting leaving all my friends, family and my boyfriend behind in Adelaide, I knew from the first time that I stepped into the UM campus that this would be one of the best experiences of my life. The UM campus is more like a resort than a University, complete with great weather all year around (except for the few hurricane warnings we have had so far).
Within the first week I had made so many friends that I have kept the whole way through my exchange experience, and UM does an amazing job with orientation week. For me personally, I have found that there is a lot more academic work to be done here than at home, however the work is more simple than at home. I have also found that grading at home is much stricter than at UM. This is the last full semester of my degree and it is so amazing being able to spend my last few months at university in such an amazing city. Being in Miami is extra special because not only do you get to experience American culture, but you also get to experience Mexican culture and I have even picked up a few words of Spanish.
So far on my experience I have gone to nearly every theme park in Orlando (three Disney parks, two Disney water parks, two Universal Studios parks and Wet ‘n Wild). I got to spend Halloween in Orlando and attend the 25th Halloween Horror Nights. I have spent a week in Mexico, exploring ancient Mayan ruins and zip lining over the jungle. I have spent countless days exploring all the amazing things this city has to offer and perhaps most importantly, I have made so many friends from all over the world that I’m sure I will have for life. We are already planning a five year reunion! For anyone considering doing an exchange, my advice would be to just do it because I promise you it will be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life!
Tahlee Mckinlay, a Bachelor of Psychological Science student currently on a semester exchange at University of Miami in Semester 2 2015