Some students yearn for years about travelling abroad, others decide within an instant of hearing about the various opportunities. One thing is for certain – the process leading up to departure is a long and anxious time. There often seems like an impossible amount of things to organise over this period, but this also allows for the excitement to build even more.
Early in 2006, I learnt about the study abroad program offered at my home University. I received some initial paperwork detailing the various university that we had exchange relationships with. It was good to understand the different opportunities regarding financing the trip, meaning more time could be spent focusing on other aspects of the trip.
I found out more about the program in meetings and expos held at Uni throughout the year. With the help of this information, I began researching the different universities, looking for ones which offered the best compatibility with my degree. I found this to be most important aspect of choosing a University, as compulsory courses at my home university had to be met, while there were many alternatives regarding funding.
I do not speak any languages other than English, so I researched Canadian and UK universities. I think it would be great opportunity for a language student, or someone who has a specific cultural background, to travel to that country to study. By comparing subject compatibility, I narrowed my selection down to about 3 Universities in the UK, and ended up selecting Leeds based on it’s location, atmosphere and reputation.
At the end of 2006, UQ required that I submit a Study Abroad application, complete with a nominated university and detailed plan of which subjects I would be studying there and gaining credit for at home.
It was also required that I completed an online application for the University of Leeds, and this took place in January of 2007.
April 2007 was a busy month, as I received notification of my unconditional acceptance to the University of Leeds. Also, the Head of Study Abroad visited Brisbane to meet with incoming students. This offered a chance to ask questions regarding the city, university and program.
In May we had the opportunity of meeting with students from my home Uni which had previously been involved in the study abroad program. They shared their experiences gained through this program. We were also presented with information on health insurance, culture shock, course selection and accommodation.
I applied for University Accommodation, and received and offer where I hoped to stay in July. The signing and returning the accommodation contract in august marked the end of the application process, with counting down the days to departure the only thing left to do.
It seems like a lot to organise, and it was – stretching out for over a year before departure. Always having something to do helped keep the excitment and anticipation up. In the next post I’ll detail the differenct sources that I secured finance from for the year abroad.