Host University

University of Liverpool

Host Country

United Kingdom


SP5, 2018

Why did you choose your host university?

I didn’t actually choose Liverpool, I got placed there by UniSA. At first I was disheartened because I didn’t get into any of my three preferences, however this was a blessing in disguise because now, looking back, I can’t imagine completing my exchange anywhere else. 

What was the university like?

It was far more theoretical rather than hands-on like I’m used to at UniSA. However, this made it easier to complete things in your own time. I also feel like the standards are slightly lower over there, so it’s easier to pass! Plus, you only need 40% to pass in England rather than 50% here, so it’s very easy to get by with your studies. I also found that contact hours were pretty minimal – roughly the same amount as I am used to in Adelaide.

There’s also much more of a university culture than we experience here in Adelaide. There are pubs/cafes/supermarkets spread out amongst the campus, plus they have a University Guild, which holds many events and has areas where you can sit and socialise with peers over a beer and play games of pool.

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

A beer gut… Haha, just joking. I think my exchange added another layer of knowledge and understanding to my current views. I made many friends from different places and gained confidence within myself. It sounds kind of lame but I guess you do find yourself and figure out who you are as you’re thrown into a group of people who didn’t know you before. And whilst you could pretend to be somebody you’re not, I think you’ll find that you just find your groove and your true colours start to shine once you’re settled and comfortable. 

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

I stayed in Tudor Close which was the study abroad village and it was the highlight of my exchange. It’s hard to imagine just how close you will grow to people when you are all living in the same complex for 5 months and seeing each other every single day. The friendships we made are indescribable.

It was also built in 2013/14 so it’s pretty modern and you get your own room in a flat of 6 or 7. It is a little bit expensive but I think by England standards it’s actually not too bad. Plus, you get the convenience of living on campus AND super close to the city centre. 

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

Yes my friends and I did so many trips, I think we were going somewhere almost every weekend. I would recommend purchasing a youth railcard for cheap train fares around the UK, although travelling within England is actually surprisingly expensive. I thought I’d be able to get the train down to London whenever I wanted but had a rude shock when I realised how expensive it is to go there if you don’t book way in advance!

For international travel, there is a really cheap airline called RyanAir and, I’ll be honest, it’s not great… BUT they have ridiculously cheap flights out of Liverpool Airport. We went to the South of France for a weekend and the flights were something like 12 pounds? Crazy. We also went to places like Poland, Netherlands, Ireland, even Morocco! And they were all roughly the same price. 

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

It’s actually funny because I didn’t make ANY English friends, which was not at all what I expected upon arrival. Because I was living in the study abroad village, our entire friendship group was mixed of all different nationalities. Although I will say, there were a LOT of Australians… But that’s kind of a good thing because I think Aussies share a lot of the same humour and it’s very easy to befriend a fellow Australian. Another good thing about this set-up was that everyone was studying something different and so you had a variety of people surrounding you to keep it interesting all the time.

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

Well, since getting back home I have been applying for internships in my field and when employers read on my resume that I spent a semester abroad they are automatically impressed! But I think the reason why they think it’s great is because it says a lot about the type of person you are: somebody who isn’t afraid to maybe take a leap out of their comfort zone, somebody adaptable and driven enough to make experiences for themselves.

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

I’m sure every report says this, but you have to do it! It’s a once in a lifetime experience and it’s honestly the cheapest and most stress-free way to experience living abroad. Don’t be daunted by the processes involved in getting the idea off the ground… Yes, it’s a little bit complicated but the exchange office is there to help you whenever you need and it is so worth the pay off.