Flinders Degree: Bachelor of Education (Middle and Secondary Schooling)/ Bachelor of Arts
Program: Semester exchange
Destination: University of Arizona, the United States
Period: Semester 2 2015
“For students who are considering going on student exchange, all I can say is – do it! The process of going on exchange can be tiring & stressful when looking for a host institution and figuring out a Visa, but in the end this was an experience I will cherish and remember for a lifetime”.
Highlights would be making so many new and great friends as well as the experiences I’ve had in travelling with them.
The week before I started college we had a 3 day long orientation which had all exchange students and international students. The information provided on these three days was very valuable because it included information about our visas and what we can/ can’t do in the country such as getting a job on campus etc. It was also here that I met other Australian exchange students who soon became my best friends and temporary family for the rest of my trip!
The staff in the exchange program at the university of Arizona were very helpful, especially in the first week when it was a bit difficult to organize classes. They are there if you need a hand!
The workload compared to Flinders was a lot larger, however, the level of difficulty was a lot lower. It was not as hard to get good grades.
Going to class, coming home to finish any outstanding work and then usually hanging out with friends or going out to party (honestly Americans party a silly amount).
Most freshman stay on campus in their first year (17-18year olds), if you are closer to 20-21 it would be advised to stay off campus if you can afford it.
I received the OS-HELP loan, get this if you Are eligible!
– In Arizona there is a large Hispanic culture which was incredible to learn about. Also a large party scene!
– Fear of missing my friends and family, but once I was in America I never wanted to leave! Time flies.
– Very easy (to make friends among the local population), say yes to everything and every invite because you never know who you are going to meet
– Communication barriers are hilarious in the US because it is only our slang that is different. Budgeting was a big thing but I wouldn’t change a thing with the money I have spent, when it comes to experiences they are priceless!
Personally, the most rewarding part of going on student exchange was being able to organize everything myself and be
able to succeed in living out of home for the first time.
Advice to Flinders Students Thinking about Overseas Study Opportunities
Take every day as it comes, don’t hibernate in your room and love every moment because it will be over before you know it!
Read more stories from Phoebe here, here and here.