Hi! My name’s Taggy and I’ll be spending my Junior Honours year studying English Literature and History at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia. As I write this, I’m beginning to regret leaving myself less than a week to sort out my belongings. Amid the craziness, I thought I’d talk about everything that needs to be done in order to get to the surreal point that I’m currently at.
The whole process is quite long and intense at times. So that you don’t feel overwhelmed, I thought I’d give you all an idea of the application process and how you can get into the position of going on exchange. I found that the more prepared I was, the more positive I felt about being allocated one of my top choices, so hopefully this helps you.
First off: go to the study abroad fair. I always wanted to go on exchange, but it was when I heard from students who’d just come back from being abroad that I became really focused on applying for the programme. Around the same time as this is advertised, you should receive an email from your subject co-ordinator(s) similar to this:
If you’re a Joint Honours student like me, you’ll have two co-ordinators. They’ll be insanely helpful throughout the application process, and be your main contact whilst you’re abroad. This brings me onto my next tip: go to any information talks or meetings that are arranged, whether it be within your College or with the International Exchange Office. Moreover, an important thing to note about the programme is that while so much support is given, showing organisation skills and a desire to succeed in your application is key, so do as much research as you can. Look closely at where you want to study; picking the right location is important as it’s not only where you’ll be studying, but also where you’ll be living and socialising.
I always wanted to study in Sydney because I visited last year and I loved it, but you need back up plans. Be aware of what’s on offer at the universities you choose to apply to. You have 4 options, so it’s a lot of research and the application will be time consuming, but the more information you have, the more effective your personal statement and financial plan will be. This will make you stand out, which is important considering the number of applications that are received.
Once you’ve sent off your application, you have to be patient. The process is long, but I can tell you first hand that all the waiting is so worth it! I may currently be procrastinating instead of packing, as you can tell by how long this post is, but I am beyond excited to move Down Under and share my experience with you.
So as I begin my Australian adventure, if you have any questions or want to chat about going on exchange, feel free to contact me either by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or on Facebook.