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UK – Alina

Student Alina with friends in the snow

Student: Alina
Course: Bachelor of International Studies
Program: Trimester Exchange T2 2023

Did you go on any memorable trips to explore your host country or maybe a nearby country?

I was lucky because my group of friends and I went overseas during term quite often because our schedules permitted it. Amsterdam was a highlight. We got to see a concert of an Aussie band and generally just took in the sights of the city. In our last couple of weeks me and a few friends found cheap tickets to Tenerife from Manchester. It was perfect because we got to see some sun and swim in the beach. I also went to Glasgow on the train from Leeds. It was a quick train ride and we all stayed in a hostel together. Being in Glasgow we got the opportunity to do a day tour up to the highlands and see Loch Ness and surrounding areas which was magical.

How did you make friends and what sort of things did you do together?

I was very lucky because my block in my accommodation was filled with other exchange students, most of whom were Australian as well. Because of this it was very easy to connect with people. I found it very rewarding being friends with all Aussie exchange students because we all wanted to do the same things and make the most of our time.

Joining a society or club is also a great way to make friends. I joined the Rugby League team, and they were a very social club. Often at English Uni’s teams will have socials every week where you go out as a team and get to meet other sports teams. This was the best way to meet people from the host country.

Was there some aspect of your trip that was different to your expectations?

As difficult as it was, my friendships back home changed. Going overseas and living on your own really changes you and forming new friendships can often change your perspective on life back home. For me, this was all welcomed as I went on study abroad to ‘find myself’ and meet more like-minded people. With a time difference as well it is hard to stay in touch with friends.

How did you finance your trip? How much did your trip cost?

I had two jobs over the summer which enabled me to earn more to fund my trip. Along with this I just had to generally budget, this meant not going on holidays back home. However this was quite rewarding. All together I spent over $25,000. That went towards my rent, my flights, as well as money to travel with for 2.5 months before hand. This was enough to live on, but it doesn’t hurt to have more. Most western European countries are quite expensive due to the cost-of-living crisis.

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