David Harris

Date: SP2, 2017
Degree Program: Bachelor of IT (Games and Entertainment Design)
Host University: University of Twente
Host Country: The Netherlands

Why did you choose your host university?

My degree is quite niche in what I am taught, and to get the best match so I am being taught what I need to be, I had a couple of places I could go, including the US and UK, but why go to a place whose culture is almost identical to your own?

What was the university like?

The campus was huge, a little smaller than the Adelaide CBD. Classes are like any other class, sit for an hour listening to a lecturer with breaks between hours, though the entire Uni stops classes for lunch. Students are encourage to join one of the many student associations, students are also encouraged to ask older students about work rather than lecturers, who are seen as last resort go toos’. At least compared to my degree there was a larger emphasis on exams rather than assignments, so that was a bit of a struggle for me as I hate taking exams. 

What did you gain from your exchange experience and has it changed the way you think or altered your approach to life?

David HarrisMy approach to life or my way of thinking hasn’t changed this was a test more than anything to see if I could adapt to a new culture away from my old friends and family back home, and be able to make new friends. I feel I have been able to do that. I want to move to Europe after university.

What accommodation options were available to you?  How affordable was accommodation and would you recommend the same option to others?

The university has a contract with a local tenancy agency, their prices I feel were quite steep. I met a friend who pays the same I do, and basically has a small studio where I have a closet with a bed and cupboard. If I were to do it again, I’d look for a private accommodation.

Describe your travel experiences; did you travel locally or to neighbouring countries? 

A bit of both, before I started my studies I went to the Czech Republic to see my dearest friend, that was so much fun, to see snow for the first time. In the Netherlands, I went to a few places around, but my Schedule wasn’t too allowing. During Mid semester I went to Switzerland, and stood up close to the peak of Mont Blanc, that was amazing and beautiful, if incredibly expensive. And finally, before I come home, I’m spending 8 days in France with my friend, up in the French Alps.

Describe how you adjusted to life in a different country and how you met new people.

The University was very good at putting you with mentors, they wanted you to be a part of groups and associations. They also do an orientation where they put you with other members of your school so you meet other Exchange students and make friends there.

Can you see any benefits from this exchange to your future career?

Yes, for me this was a test to see if I can live overseas away from friends and family. I can, so I’m looking forward to applying for jobs overseas.

What advice would you give to a student who was hesitant or considering joining the exchange program?

Do it, get out of little Australia and see the world, cultures and experiences that you may not get to see here. This will be the only time you can go overseas virtually no cost to you up front.

Top Tips:

Be aware that you can still have bad days overseas, you’re there for so long that sometimes you’ll have a bad day like you can at home.

Be sure to have a plan on these occasions, if you were to talk to friends and family, they may be sleeping because of time differences, maybe you go to a pet who’s still in Australia. Make a plan for such times, it helps.

Areas of study and research

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