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Student Stories

Elizabeth Brown

Elizabeth started her Bachelor of Business Management at the University of Queensland in 2015

“I initially decided to study abroad after my dad’s work for transferred him to Australia. I visited him the summer before I was due to start university and attended the university open day which left me impressed. The decision to apply was easy, however the actual application process was much more difficult. No one at the university seemed to know what the A-level grade requirements were or how to apply from the UK and I very quickly began to feel frustrated. However, once I was put in touch with Study Options the process became so much easier, they guided me through the whole process, invited me to meet university representatives and were always available to answer any questions. They even made it possible for me to begin before my A-level results were released which was a great benefit.

“I arrived in Australia in July 2015 and started university soon after. I didn’t have any major issues settling in, possibly because there’s not too much of a cultural difference between the UK and Australia. I was lucky as I was able to move straight in with my dad and sister, so I didn’t need to sort too much out before I arrived and already had a base. I decided to live at home because of course it’s much cheaper, and unlike in the UK, it’s actually the norm for students to live at home. There are however a few university colleges which I’m told are a great way to make new friends, they are however often criticised for their culture, so I would advise doing a lot of research if it’s something you are interested in. I’ve felt completely settled in Australia for a while now and even if homesickness does set in, due to the term structure (around 4 ½ months for summer/Christmas and over a month for winter as well as mid semester breaks), it is possible to spend almost half of the year in the UK anyway, so you never have to be away for too long.

“On the whole I’ve enjoyed studying business and majoring in real estate. One drawback that I have found is that as there are so many students across the whole business school studying the compulsory business courses, the courses are usually very big with hundreds of students. Although they are generally well organised and have small tutorial classes, I and others I speak to are often left feeling like a number rather than a person. On the other hand, the courses I have completed for my major are the complete opposite. They have small class sizes, real world content and industry professionals teaching the courses, all of which has been valuable. Overall, even with the larger courses the lecturers and tutors have been enthusiastic and accessible with multiple points of contact. Generally, the facilities are very good, most of the lecture theatres are modern, as well as general student study spaces. All lectures are also recorded which is very helpful for future revision or you are unable to attend a lecture. Ultimately, reflecting on my time so far, I have enjoyed my time at the University of Queensland, I’ve learned a lot, had some amazing opportunities such as studying in California for a semester abroad and I have met some great people.

“When I’m not studying, I love to get outdoors. They are a number of hiking clubs around Brisbane and they are always very welcoming. Brisbane is also close to a number of lovely beaches and national parks which are always great to visit. Brisbane City itself is great, with plenty to do and see. Queensland is also a great place to explore, there are a number of islands close by which can be driven to and the Whitsundays and great barrier reef are only about an hour away by plane. Other cities are reasonably close and easy to get to, Sydney is only around an hour and a half away and Melbourne and Adelaide around two and a half hours, making weekend trips easy. I would consider the cost of living in Brisbane to be on par if not slightly higher than the UK. University fees are also certainly higher as an international student, so financial planning and research is essential.

“If you are considering studying in Australia, I would definitely recommend that you do. The thought of moving to the other side of the world is definitely a little daunting but its only temporary, and in my opinion the benefits of studying at a wold class university whilst being able to explore a different country are greater than the drawbacks. In my opinion the best three things about studying in Australia are: the opportunity to live in and explore a different country, making friends from all over the world and standing out when applying for jobs, as it’s always a good talking point. I think the three worst things about studying overseas are: Being so far away from home, there’s are no quick or cheap way to get home. The high fees are definitely a huge negative too especially because they have to be paid in full at the beginning of the semester, and finally, never being really fully settled as I tend to go between the two countries quite a lot. Ultimately, however, I’m glad that I chose to study at the University of Queensland.”