Semester Exchange at University of East Anglia, the U.K.

Profile Photo FaceSarah Metcalf
Flinders Degree: Bachelor of Laws and Legal Practice
Program: Semester exchange
Destination: University of East Anglia, the United Kingdom
Period: Semester 2 2015

“I think the biggest thing for me was that I know I can move to the other side of the world on my own and deal with everything pretty well. It’s made me confident to apply for jobs now in the UK”.



I went to on a trip organised by the Uni to Bath and Oxford for a weekend. Even though I had to wake up at 4:30 in the morning so I could be at the bus at 5:30 and it rained the whole day in Bath, it was really worth it as it was so nice to see all the old architecture which is something you miss out on in Australia. Plus one of my favourite TV shows is filmed in Oxford so I was trying to see what I recognised from there.

Before You Go
I was a bit scared that I wouldn’t make friends that easily, and I was a bit wary of the shared accommodation as I need a lot of sleep and I was going to be quite a bit older than the first years.

We had a day of talks in the week before the home students arrived. They provided us with information about living in the UK, living in residences, the medical facilities and societies and sports facilities available. The degree specific orientations were run in the first week of the semester but they were targeted at first years and my lectures clashed with quite a few of the talks.

I didn’t really have much contact with the Study Abroad Office once I was there, but they were available if there were any problems.

Study Life
The assessment for all the topics I studied was one assignment worth 100% which was something I was not used to. UEA don’t have exams at the end of semester 1 so I had to be careful to pick topics which were coursework only. Preparation for workshops involved a lot more reading than at Flinders and would often require you to read multiple cases, plus journal articles or book chapters on the subject.

[My accommodation was) on campus. I was close to everything I needed on campus, plus it makes meeting people a lot easier if you are worried about that.

Money Matters

  • Housing Cost
    AU$1000-$1500 for self- catering facilities
  • Living Expenses
    After paying for my accommodation, I spent around 1,500 pounds whilst I was away – this included around 30 pounds a week for food, travel organised through the University, buying clothes and going to the movies/out for a night etc.

Financial assistance
OS help loan, and I received one of the $1,000 scholarships.


  • Typical Day
    I would wake up at 9ish and get ready for my lecture, then I would leave my flat at 10:30 to walk to my lecture at 11. At 11:50 I would have 10 minutes to dash to the other side of campus for a lecture at 12. Then at 1 I would walk back to my flat for some lunch and have a bit of a break (maybe hang out with my flatmates and watch a bit of a movie) before I started to do some study. I’d then walk back over to the law school at 6 for a lecture until 7 and then walk back to my flat and make dinner when I got home.
  • Differences
    There isn’t that many cultural differences between the UK and Australia except I did find that I needed to watch what I was saying and replace the Australian words for the UK words.
  • Making friends
    I found it really quite easy to get to know UK students because I was living in the on campus accommodation. You’re living in flats with, on average, 7 other people and most of those are from the UK. Also because my building was pretty small, all the flats mingled and so I got to know other people that way too. Attending orientation events for your degree and seeing if there are Facebook groups for first years starting your degree is another way to meet people before you get there.

I did get a little bit homesick around the middle of the semester where I wanted to go home because I had more space to myself than I did at UEA. It was also a bit hard not being able to talk to my friends or my mum straight away if I was having a crappy day as we had to coordinate when we were going to Skype.


Advice to Flinders Students Thinking about Overseas Study Opportunities
Say yes to any opportunity that you’re given, even if you’re not sure whether it would be good or not. There are lots of different things you will get to experience that don’t really happen in Australia, like watching the Christmas lights being turned on, or watching the fireworks for bonfire night if you’re in the UK. Make sure that you make the most of being in a different country – it’s so easy to get into a routine and do the same things all the time.

  • Read other Outbound Returned Student Interviews here

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