This week we spoke to an exchange student at Macquarie University on the highs and lows of studying in Oz
Josh Tate, 20 from the UK
Why study in Australia?
I have a few friends that travelled Australia and had the time of their lives, so their recommendation was really important to me. No language barrier was also a plus, although there is a slight dialect barrier – but I get that everywhere being from the north-east! Oh, and the drinking age is lower than the USA, my other option.
How long are you in Oz?
I arrived in February after travelling through China. I plan to study until late June and travel more for a month or two before I go home.
How did you choose which university to attend?
Macquarie University is in the top 10 Australian universities and it’s a campus-based uni just outside the heart of Sydney. It has a great reputation, great location and I thought it would be good to experience a different type of uni – since my university in Leeds is city-based.
What are you studying?
I’m in my 2nd year of studying International Business at Leeds Metropolitan, but I’m on an exchange programme. I’m also doing an internship.
Was there much to arrange?
Not a great deal. I had a few friends going to Australia so I let them find out about it all then I followed what they did! Otherwise, applying for a uni in Australia and choosing the modules you would like to take was simple enough. I booked one way flights because I didn’t know what I would be doing. It turns out I’m going to Thailand with six people I met over here.
Did it cost you anything?
Sydney is an expensive city, but I expected that and prepared for it. Accommodation is a big hit, six months here has cost me around the same as a year would at home. But it has been completely worth it, the fun I’ve had here outweighs any price tag.
Have you travelled?
So far I’ve toured New Zealand with five Americans I met here. I got to skydive, bungy jump and whitewater raft. It was one of the best holidays I’ve ever had. The following 10 days I travelled down the east coast of Australia. I scuba dived the Great Barrier Reef, sailed the Whitsundays, and partied in Surfers Paradise.
Any memorable moments?
For my 20th birthday some friends climbed up my balcony and removed the window frame. They poured 150 litres of small polystyrene balls (the ones in bean bags) all over my room. Three months later and I’m still finding them! That night we had a big party with drinking games, mud-wrestling and a beer-pong tournament.
How does studying in Oz compare to home?
Here I’ve got smaller tasks that count for a small percentage of the final grade. At home I might have a few essays, presentations and a big exam. Over here I’m on pass/fail which means my grades don’t transfer home, so I seem to have a lot more free time.