Host University

University of Strathclyde

Host Country



SP2, 2019


Bachelor of Business (Tourism and Event Management)

Why did you choose your host university?

I chose the University of Strathclyde primarily due to the fact that it was in the U.K. and offered specialised courses with reference to the tourism aspect of my degree. I also had always wanted to explore Scotland, and knew that with a full semester exchange, I would have the adequate time to do so. 

What was the university like?

There were lectures for every subject every week, just like UniSA, however, their tutorials operate differently. Only running a maximum of four times throughout the whole semester. I found that there was a lot of group work, but this really depends on the subjects that are chosen. The university itself is a very practically based university, so some assessments are very hands on - however, there were obviously still exams, reports and essays to complete. They have a lot of support for international students on campus, with a whole who are available during office hours. The University really assist in getting new exchange students mingling with each other, with a dedicated student union (and building with multiple levels and bars?!) it’s really easy to meet new people and friends. 

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

I certainly am more confident in who I am and am able to work individually very effectively. Due to the extreme number of international students (as European students are entitled to free education in Scotland), I became much better at understanding cultural differences, barriers and how to overcome this, as for many people, despite their English being perfect, it was their second language. I am certainly more willing to jump into things and say ‘yes’ to everything offered to me, as I found this is when I had the best experiences. 

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

In comparison to other U.K. universities (eg. London), the accommodation was extremely affordable and this certainly aided my ability to travel as I had more funds to utilise. I utilised the student accommodation on campus and couldn’t recommend it more. Location wise it was phenomenal. The campus is spread over a relatively large space, however, it would only take me a maximum of 10 minutes to get to classes and lectures as the accommodation is located at the heart of the campus. As for the location of the university within Glasgow, it could not be better, with Buchanan Street (like Rundle Mall), located only 15 minutes away, and an ALDI only a 5-minute walk – convenience was certainly not an issue. With your accommodation, you also have access to Strathclyde Sport, which is the gym located on campus, which is amazing. It was only completed in 2018 and is an incredible facility and I couldn’t recommend utilising it more. However, if a student didn’t like the idea of university supplied accommodation there are a great number of privately owned student accommodation providers (such as Student Roost), which are located right next to campus (may as well be on campus), with some not even a 30-second walk from the library. This, however, is obviously the more expensive option but it does come with perks such as movie rooms and gyms within the accommodation.

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

I actually managed to visit sixteen countries during my 6-months abroad. I completed one Contiki and one Topdeck Tour and also completed a lot of solo travel, abroad and within the U.K. All the exchange students are keen to travel so there are no worries with regards to finding friends to go visit places for the weekend. In fact, myself and a few friends travelled to Marseille (South of France) and Dublin (Ireland) as weekend trips whilst studying. Travelling is relatively cheap from the U.K, which made visiting a range of places easy. The university also recommend student tour providers to see more of Scotland, which I personally couldn’t recommend doing more, as you certainly make friends doing so. With regards to travelling in the U.K., the trains are phenomenal, Glasgow also has a train to London (through Virgin Trains) which is a great way to visit! I certainly recommend getting a railcard, if you plan to do this journey, or similar ones often, as the tickets become a 1/3 of the price. 

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

I felt as though it wasn’t too difficult to adjust to Scotland is it isn’t too dissimilar to Australia culturally. The difficult things I found were certainly the accent and the weather. Coming from 35-degree weather to -3 degrees was shocking but I found that I soon adjusted, no longer needed gloves and thermals, but it also helps that the weather got gradually warmer during my exchange (Winter to Summer) rather than the other way around. The accent itself was initially difficult, in fact if you ask in a shop where ‘bin bags’ are they might mistake you for ‘bean bags’. I soon learnt to say ‘bin liners’, but the accent on both ends was difficult apparently. I soon adjusted and could understand the ‘Glaswegian’ accent without any issues, I also slowed down with regards to how fast I was talking so the understanding could be reciprocated. 

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

I certainly can see the benefits from this exchange with regards to my future career. Not only do I now have connections with business students internationally but I also have links with academic staff in Scotland – plus the ability to understand cultural barriers and how to overcome them. I can see how my personal self development will assist my ability to make decisions going into my future career with a better understanding of my own goals, beliefs and values. I am certainly a more confident individual and more outgoing than I was before I left. I also find I’m more mature and the exchange only cemented that I am in the right degree with what I want to do in the future.

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

I would say not to hold back, and that you don’t get opportunities like this everyday – it is the best thing I have done in my life thus far. I’d say it’d certainly be a massive regret if I hadn’t gone and honestly it was an absolute journey of a life-time, grab it with both hands. 

Top tips

Don’t be hesitant, be confident in your own ability, say ‘yes’ to everything.