Host University

Colorado University

Host Country



SP2 2019


Bachelor of Business (Tourism & Event Management); Bachelor of Business (Marketing) 

Colorado State UniversityWhy did you choose your host university?

I chose to study at Colorado State University (CSU) as I love the outdoors and the campus is located in a university town surrounded by mountains! Colorado is such a beautiful state and it offers so many outdoor activities to fill up your weekends like skiing, hiking, rock climbing or rafting. I also chose CSU in SP2 as I wanted a complete change from Australia – which it was as some days the campus was covered in snow! But even though the winter was very cold, the sun was out most days and there was only a hand full of days in the whole six months I was there that it actually rained. I also wanted to experience ‘American college life’ and CSU did not disappoint with everyone living close by, people in class were extremely inviting and friendly, everyone got into the CSU spirit, CSU has a big bar scene and heaps of parties. 

What was the university like?

The university was so much more like school. You do more subjects to get the same amount of credits and you go there daily. Classes are not recorded and there are no lectures or tutorials, only classes. The work load is a lot easier and there are many smaller assessments with weekly quizzes, frequent assignments, extra credit opportunities and 2 or 3 exams per course. This structure makes meeting new friends a lot easier than it is at UniSA. Professors and the class structure also makes CSU more flexible than at home. For example, if you need to change around your exam timetable they have no problem helping or if you can’t make a class they help fill you in. 

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

I think going on an exchange helps you not stress about small things in day to day life as you know everything will sort itself out. It also helps you step outside your comfort zone, develop your social skills by being able to form friendships with people from all different backgrounds and enhances your personal development by helping you really understand yourself and how you react to different situations. 

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

At CSU you can choose to stay either on or off campus. Both options are great and roughly the same price.

Off campus: I chose to stay off campus at The District at Campus West. The apartments were really nice and across the road from the campus. Majority of off campus apartments are within walking distance to campus, there are also busses and plenty of bike racks if you choose to buy a bike. A benefit to staying off campus is you meet local students and many third and fourth year students stay off campus therefore, my roommates were around my age (20/21). As opposed to many first and second year students who stay on campus.

However, renting an apartment off campus is better for SP5 (Fall) students as you can only do a yearly lease starting in August. SP5 students can live in there from August-December and sub lease to another student from January – July (this can be done through the CSU Facebook page, CSU housing portal, marketplace or asking your roommates to help you find someone). Therefore, if you are going in SP2 you will have to pay the rent for 7 months even though you will probably leave for June/July (through summer break) and it is harder to find someone to sub lease then as people travel/go home for the summer.

On campus: there are so many on campus places to choose from. Aggie Village is where most international/exchange students stayed and it is a good location – this is just like an apartment. Alternatively, there are dorms you can stay in where you have a roommate but then you also are required to eat at the dining halls for each meal. 

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

Semesters in America are long and have short mid-term breaks. I travelled on my weekends, for spring break (1 week) and when I finished the semester. I travelled around Colorado on ski trips, to Colorado Springs, day trips down to Denver, Rocky Mountain National Park and Boulder. On weekends I also went to Vegas, Atlanta, Utah and Wyoming with some other exchange people. After exchange I travelled to New York and also did some road trips around Montana, Idaho, South Dakota, Seattle, Vancouver/Vancouver Island and Alaska. 

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

Well it was America, so everything was very similar to Australia. The only difference was not having family there when I was having a down day but I made so many great friends Brooke Klementit didn’t matter. The best friends I made over there were also exchange students as it’s easy to click with them since everyone is in the same position. Additionally, as I study business, majority of my classes had group assignments where I was in that same group for the whole semester and completed activities with them outside of class – this made it easy to make friends in class too. I also made friends with the girls I lived and they introduced me to their friends too. 

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

I think completing an international exchange will benefit my future career hugely, from helping my resume stand out, giving me experiences to talk about throughout job interviews to helping me adapt to different situations and overcome problems. It will also give me a competitive edge as I learnt things within my courses at CSU that other business students wouldn’t have learnt. It also shows I am willing to step outside my comfort zone and seize opportunities. 

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

Just do it! It is such an amazing opportunity & you will never get an experience like this again. Don’t worry about not making friends, everyone is so inviting and every exchange student is in the same position so I guarantee you will make friends! If you’re worried about missing home, don’t be, you make another family and home overseas and time flies by so quickly when you are over there, you will be sad when you have to go home. 

Top tips

Take up every opportunity. You’re only there for six months you may as well travel as many places as possible, have as many great experiences as you can and take home so many great memories/stories to tell your friends and family!