It is crazy to think that in just over a month’s time I will be packing my bags and travelling half-way around the world to begin a semester of university in a different country. It almost feels surreal that this is finally happening – it only feels like just yesterday I was even considering going on an exchange and now here I am, only one month away from a new chapter in my life beginning.
It is difficult to describe how I am feeling right now; excited would be an understatement. In high school, I did an exchange to Germany for 8 weeks during their winter, so I do have some expectations and I am somewhat prepared for how cold it is going to be over winter. At the same time, I am a little nervous because my host university in the UK appears to be so different to what it is like at Flinders. The classes are run differently and there appears to be a lot more assessments then what I am used to. However, on the plus side, I don’t have to sit any exams for my topics!
This will also be the first time I have lived by myself for such a long period of time. I will be living on campus but I have been lucky enough to score a room with my own bathroom (I have always shared a bathroom with my 3 siblings, so it will be a nice change to have my own for once!). I had the option to stay off campus in privately rented accommodation but I thought to make the most of this experience, it’s better to stay on campus. This way, I can get more involved in campus life and I don’t have to worry about cooking my meals every day.
My host university has been really accommodating and so helpful during this whole process. They have organised so many great things for exchange students, including day and weekend trips around the UK, airport pickup from Heathrow to the university and a packed orientation week. This has helped settle my nerves because I know I will be going to such a welcoming university.
I am really looking forward to travelling around the UK and Europe. It is unbelievable how easy and inexpensive it is to travel – in under an hour you can be in another country! I hope to travel as much as possible around the UK when I’m not studying .When I arrive in the UK, my host university has organised a 3 day orientation trip around London where I will be able to visit London’s most iconic sites and meet other students from around the world in the same position as me. I have also made plans to spend Christmas in Edinburgh, Scotland and New Year’s Eve in Germany with family and friends.
Time is flying past so quickly and I have so much more planning and organizing I need to do before I take off. In only a month’s time, I will be leaving Adelaide and touching down in my new home in the UK!
Catherine Clemow , Bachelor of Behavioural Science (Psychology)/Bachelor of Laws and Legal Practice student, Semester 2 2017 exchange at University of Leicester, the United Kingdom