Roughly a year and a half ago when I was still in first year I found out that it was possible to go on exchange with my degree. At the time I was already making travel plans to attend the World Scout Moot in Iceland, and I decided this would be the perfect time to go on exchange. It’s also conveniently the half way point in my degree, so I figured it would be a nice celebration of this milestone, whilst also being the opportunity of a lifetime to gain some invaluable experience. I then pondered how I could support myself on exchange, and within six months, I began preparing my application.
When it came to choosing where to study abroad, I knew that I wanted to go to the United Kingdom. I’ve always wanted to visit the UK since I was a kid so it was really a no brainer for me. As to deciding on which university I wanted to study at I consulted the Griffith Exchange Partner Database and narrowed it down to Plymouth University. Ultimately I chose Plymouth as I hadn’t heard of anyone from Griffith who had gone on exchange there. Plymouth University is close to a lot of national parks, and is one of the best young universities in the UK. They also have over fifty sports clubs at the university, and as I wanted to play sport while on exchange, I knew I’d have plenty of options.
If you’re interested in doing an exchange semester or year, I definitely recommend beginning your preparations at least a year in advance from when you intend to go. You will want to start this process early as applications for exchange close approximately six months prior to the exchange commencing. This will also give you plenty of time to research partner institutions, get letters of recommendation from academics at Griffith, and plan out how you will finance your trip. I applied for and was lucky enough to be selected for one of the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice Study Abroad Scholarships.
This crazy adventure of mine began on the 8th of July when I set off for some serious travelling before starting my studies in the UK. The first five weeks of my trip were spent working my way around Scandinavia and Northern Europe, starting in Norway, then working my way through Finland, Iceland and Switzerland. With travel days of up to twelve hours in a bus, it was at times exhausting, but definitely worth it as it is some of the most spectacular scenery I’ve seen. Following this I spent a week in Edinburgh for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival before going on a two week trip around the UK.
Until next time.
Read about my experience as a Plymouth University student in Part Two here.