Adventure of a lifetime: Alana spills the tea on study abroad in England

Ever wondered what it’s like to jet off for a semester of academics and adventures in a new country?

September 2023 marked the beginning of Alana’s study abroad experience at the University of Surrey in Guildford, England.

“I was away from home for a total of 6 months as I participated in extra travel before and after the semester. Going abroad during this time allowed myself to experience what autumn and winter is like in the UK as well as having a white Christmas. The unique academic opportunities, travel freedom and lifetime friendships were the best thing about my decision to study abroad.”

Studying abroad isn’t just about hitting the books, Alana had her eyes set on embracing the UK’s winter wonderland and experience a fairy-tale white Christmas.

  • Enjoying a Sunday roast with all my international friends.
  • Watching the changing of the guards at Windsor castle during an exchange excursion.
  • Having the tradition of going to the town’s ‘Wetherspoons’ pub every Wednesday night.
  • Visiting England’s Thorpe Park Resort Theme Park & Ascot Races.
  • Eating classic British foods – fish and chips, shepard’s pie, English breakfast and scones.
  • And of course, having a cup of tea.

While juggling lectures and seminars, Alana traveled outside of England regularly and even went on her first solo journey!

“As my lectures and seminars were luckily scheduled at the beginning of the week, I had the opportunity to travel around Europe and United Kingdom on some weekends throughout the semester.”

“Travelling to so many new destinations allowed me to immerse myself in different cultures and learn how to navigate new places. Balancing my priorities of travel and academic responsibilities taught me how to effectively manage my time and organisational skills, which ultimately are key skills for everyday life whether I am abroad or at home.”

So, why should you follow in Alana’s adventurous footsteps and embark on an exchange program? Well, she has three compelling reasons up her sleeve, and they’re as enticing as a fresh scone and tea.

The friendships you make along the way: Learning about cultures and languages from your friends is an incredible experience that you cannot get anywhere else. The bond between exchange students was special as we all were experiencing the same unfamiliar environment which created a comfortable support system. It broadened my understanding of the world but also encouraged me to be more self-aware of my own culture and knowledge of Australia as well.

Independence and personal development: This exchange taught me so many things about how to be comfortable and confident being alone. Every day was a new challenge and opportunity to learn. From navigating new environments, managing daily tasks and making every decision on your own was amazing for my self growth.

Life experiences and memories made: From travelling around the world to studying at a new university, every day will provide you with a wealth of experiences that will stay with you throughout your life. The constant exposure to different perspectives continues to add to a broader worldview and add to an open-minded approach to life.

It’s not just an academic journey; it’s a passport to a new experience.

Learn more about Study Abroad opportunities at the upcoming Exchange Fair.