Host University

University of Strathclyde

Host Country



SP2, 2016


Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting)

Why did you choose your host university?

There were many reasons that I made the choice to pick the University of Strathclyde as my host university in studying abroad. It was hard to look past that undertaking my degree in Commerce (Accounting) the University was ranked amongst the best for its Business School in the United Kingdom.

Strathclyde University was a strong preference for me to study abroad as it allowed me not only to visit the broader United Kingdom, but the rest of Europe being in close vicinity to other European Countries. I should also mention that having family in England made the choice an easy one, as studying in Glasgow would allow me to get down to visit them. Another factor that strongly influenced my decision to study in the United Kingdom was the importance of studying in an English-speaking country. I felt that this would reduce the nerves of being such a long way away from family and friends that I would be able to connect to people a lot more easily.

Cameron CorlettWhat was the university like?

The University was located in the heart of the city, where it’s central location made it easy to access the essential facilities and services around Glasgow. The University itself had a very similar approach to the way classes are taught at UniSA. Where it was reliving to find that had a similar system in place to the myplace portal, where subject material could be accessed and submitted through. Subjects consisted of two refreshing to know that tutorials where only fortnightly, but it was compulsory to attend.

One piece of important information that I can give to any outgoing study wishing to study at Strathclyde is that the grading system is a lot stricter, where high grades are normally rewarded with in the 70 – 80% bracket, but the pass mark is lowered to 40%, which is great for us exchange students that only need to pass while we are studying abroad. The university also has a multilevel library with plenty of resources and vast amounts of indoor study space, which was particularly useful when your flatmates were enjoying the uni-life of partying in the flat.

The University has recently put a bit of funding into the rejuvenation of the architecture with the look of its buildings and surroundings. Incorporating a modern interpretation into the campus. However, there are still some quite outdated buildings with some lecture theatre and rooms that are in much need of an update. Future Exchangers would also like to know that they have also started works on a new sports centre for students that attend from the beginning of 2018. During my studies abroad I was enrolled in three classes, completing the minimal amount of subjects required to participate in the exchange program. Doing one less subject then the full load allowed me to balance out my study life with the more interesting parts of studying overseas, that I’ll go into more detail later.

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

Making the decision to study abroad has to be the single best decision that I have made in my life. Even if its not in Scotland this is something that will be enjoyed no matter where you wish to go in the world. There is a sense of accomplishment of being able to participate in this once in a lifetime experience. Where I was able to make memories that will stay with me forever, through meeting loads of new friends from different cultures, or exploring the likes of Scotland, United Kingdom and further into the European Continent. Making it hard to say goodbye once your time is up and you must come home. Studying abroad has done wonders, it has given me new sense of confidence, a gain in independence and a more general global awareness.

Gaining friends from all over the world has allowed me to appreciate how small the world actually is, while giving me new places to visit, keeping contact with these new lifelong connections.There were two things that I was commonly asked before I left to study abroad. The first was “why Scotland” and the other was “how are you going understand those angry Scots” Answering the first question before leaving and coming back has definitely changed. At first Scotland itself wasn’t a massive drawcard but the fact that it was conveniently connected with the rest of Europe I felt that it would suit me well. However, now completed my stay in Scotland it’s easy to say that Scotland itself is such a remarkable country from its amazing landscape to it friendly residents, I would not hesitate in picking Scotland again. Which answers the second question, it’s a nationality of kind locals that are easy to get along with, especially being Aussie the Scottish lingo can be quite amusing to interpret at times .

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

Glasgow is home to a large variety of student accommodations with its intake of both local and international students between the three universities in the city. These accommodation types can be either private or in student halls. Strathclyde University offers on campus accommodation in several different residences, I was located in Thomas Campbell Court which was a flat. Each person had their own bedroom, but shared a bathroom and kitchen with three other people, and a common room/lounge room with 7 other people. This was great for meeting people as the common room was great for having parties. In the room you had a single bed, a computer desk, a wardrobe and a heater of course for the colder climate. Making it a standard but comfortable place to live. The best thing about the campusbeing centrally located is that it was a short walk away to shop for the weekly groceries, or to the night life venues to grab a drink or dance after class.

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

I took the opportunity to travel all over Scotland as unlike Australia places were quick and easy to access through their bus and train network. Starting off in the Autumn months I covered some of the Islands, spending the first few weekends in Scotland going to Isle of Mull, Isle of Arran & Isle of Skye, all fantastic places and each has their own individual features. In the lowlands, I got to Largs, Loch Lomond, Stirling, Galloway Forrest and Edinburgh, right up to the Highlands going into Fort William and up to Inverness to find Nessie at Loch Ness.

You can take advantage of the tour companies that are on offer to you, but I found these to be too structured and didn’t allow you enough time at places you wanted to visit so I choose to organise a lot of trips myself with the friends that I made in Scotland. By using their travel network between cities or getting a hire car for the weekend. The tour companies where great to begin with when unfamiliar with the surroundings and for meeting new people as these tours were set up for students only.

Being on the overside of the world I wanted to make the most of the trip so before I set myself in Scotland for the semester I organised to do a Contiki tour, doing a loop around Europe spending two nights at each destination. I choose to travel this way as all my transport, accommodation, and some activities are organised so it didn’t give me the hassle of travelling instead being able to enjoy myself more. In all I was able to visit 12 different countries on my trip and each country was simply amazing in its own right.

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

For me, the Culture Shock that everyone talks about when going abroad wasn’t a big thing as the United Kingdom isn’t that different to Australia, besides everything being a lot closer together. It also made it easier that I family from there that I already had an awareness of what the United Kingdom was like. In the Winter months, yes it did get cold, but it was easy just to throw on another jacket and plus everywhere you went had great heating so it didn’t take too much to adjust. Meeting new people on exchange is easy, everyone is there for the same reason you just need to be able to adapt to different cultures and the way they do things.

I found the best time to make friends is Freshers Week, so make sure you are going to as many events as possible because this is where you are most likely to find the friends that you are going to have while you study abroad as this is when everyone is new and in the same position as you. The best advice is just be willing to try anything, and get involved in as much as you can, as soon as you can, from university organised trips, to social and sporting clubs, as this is the easiest way to make friends.

Don’t be afraid to do things on your own, the first night I was in Glasgow at the pub watching the famous derby between Celtic and Rangers got talking to a couple of locals that ended up talking to an ice-hockey match that night. Finally, get use to drinking in Scotland, as this going to be your best friend in the cold Scottish climate, where there is a strong pub culture and is a great place to go to escape the weather.

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

I would like to think that studying abroad will give me a more rounded view when it comes to my future career. I think it’s fair to say that it shows employers that this person is willing to take initiative and can work both independently but can also mix amongst other cultures which I believe are both necessary attributes in the workforce. I believe it is something to show off on the resume but not only that, I believe the exchange has proved to me that I am more than capable of moving outside of Australia if the opportunity presented itself to work in another country.

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

If you’ve got this far and your considering going abroad, do it! Going on an International Exchange is a once in a lifetime experience. I would recommend it to anyone. The memories that you take from this are just amazing. You will make some awesome friends and visit some of the most amazing places. The exchange has been the highlight of my degree and I have learnt so many valuable life tools from independence, confidence to just a greater awareness. So what are you waiting for?

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