Flinders Degree: Bachelor of Speech Pathology (Honours)
Program: Semester exchange
Destination: Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU), the United Kingdom
Period: Semester 2 2015
“[Highlight of my exchange was] I think just the whole experience of living in another country – not just visiting or stopping over – but really getting to know a city and its people, experiencing everyday life in a new place! Getting to know your local grocer and your bus driver!”
Before I went
I think just fears around balancing a workload, experiencing new things and becoming familiar with a new city and country! These thoughts mellowed as I became more comfortable with routines
MMU provided a range of orientation activities. A webinar about six weeks prior to my departure was great for some very basic details regarding on-sight orientation and administration details was helpful. MMU offered an international students welcome week with information on clubs and activities as well as university service orientation and city tours. Additionally, my tutor met me for coffee on my first day to run through course specific orientation.
Academic workload was similar to Flinders. I completed three assignments within the 12 weeks I was there of around 4,000 words. There was a greater number of classes to attend but less tutorials or group work. I don’t think there were any specific resources or facilities provided or that I accessed specifically. Manchester has a huge number of exchange students.
Housing was difficult to find in Manchester. If you are going for a full year, living on campus looks great however as I was there for less than an academic year, this wasn’t available. I stayed with some family friends which was really helpful as, although they were a little further away from the university, living in a more long-term residential area was a real highlight. AU$800-$1000 per month with self-catering facilities.
- Living expenses
Around $4,000 for the three months in Manchester
- Financial assistance
OS help loan, R.A Simpson Scholarship and I continued to receive my Centrelink allowance as an Australian student
- Typical Day
On the bus at 8:30am to get to a 10am class (traffic is crazy!) Classes from 10-1 and then 1-4 with a break to talk with your classmates or academic staff in-between. A couple of hours at the library then meet some friends at one of the great cafes in Manchester and a club or society gathering that night!
There were no major differences between the British culture and Australian, only small interesting ones. MMU provided sessions in the International Orientation week for discussion and education around British culture which were interesting
- Making friends
Yes! It was very easy [to make friends]. Attending Freshers Week (O-week equivalent) allows you to find more information on clubs and societies in the university and meet the committee members. The international society run a number of events to help you meet other international students as you’re finding your feet and want to see some of the historical sites. I found the best club that I became involved in was the Christian Union. The Christian Union was made up of lots of different kinds of people, so it was easy to get to know local people through that. It is a society that is always welcoming new people so you won’t be the only new person! They also run lots of events like museum trips, ice-skating and weekends away. Other ways to get to know locals was through spending time in the local village, the coffee shop, grocery store, church and library
It was really difficult to communicate with MMU when I was at Flinders and hard to communicate with Flinders when I was at MMU, due to time differences etc. Allow yourself plenty of time to navigate your new city and university and don’t feel pressured to always be doing something!
Advice to Flinders Students Thinking about Overseas Study Opportunities
Don’t be afraid to ask any questions you have when you’re planning on going – whether it’s to Flinders, your host university, other students – everyone is so willing to help! Decide carefully if it’s what you want to go and then go for it! It will be great.
- Read other Outbound Returned Student Interviews here