Alys Haswell, an ELAL student, talks to us about her experiences during her semester at the University of Adelaide.

How would you describe the overall experience?

Participating in the exchange programme has given me some unforgettable experiences that have enhanced many areas of my life. I really enjoyed it.

What opportunities have you enjoyed during the semester?

Because it was just a single semester exchange, I felt challenged to try things outside of my comfort zone to make the most of my time. Hiking and camping in the South Australian outback and experiencing a solo-backpacking trip to the East coast were particular activities that completely challenged me and were really fun to do too. While moving to Australia alone undoubtedly increased my independence, it also gave me the opportunity to meet and mix with other students from around the world. I formed close friendships with students from Denmark, America, Canada and Norway as well as other universities within the UK, and many of us are planning on inter-railing together next summer.

How has the exchange impacted your life at the University of Birmingham?

Experiencing another university system was really interesting. Studying linguistics modules from an Australian perspective with different teaching methods was incredibly interesting and has made me more adaptable when returning to Birmingham to complete my third year. Balancing university work, travels and a busy social life has improved my time and money-management skills; two life-management skills that will serve me for life.

What advice would you offer to students considering taking part in an exchange programme?

Although the prospect of moving away was daunting and I missed home at times, my semester in Adelaide is without a doubt the best thing that I’ve ever done and I’d recommend studying abroad to anyone who has the chance.