Student Exchange Countdown

By Pema Deane

A bunch of our second and third year students are leaving halfway through the year as part of the University of Melbourne’s global exchange partnership. I interviewed four soon-departing students, to get a sense of why they chose their exchange university, and what is making them most excited and nervous about embarking on their journeys!

Toby is heading to Iceland

Toby is studying at the University of Iceland in Reykjavik, Iceland. He is currently studying engineering through a Bachelor of Science, but is studying breadth subjects overseas, including classes in ecology, Icelandic culture and Asian philosophy. Toby says one of the main reasons he chose Iceland is its stunning natural beauty, such as the glaciers, waterfalls and hot springs, making it perfect for outdoor activities. He also was interested in learning a bit of Icelandic and more about the country’s unique culture, including Iceland’s commitment to sustainability and environmentally friendly practices. He is most excited to go on a road trip, he wants to scuba dive between the tectonic plates, go whale watching and see the northern lights. He isn’t as excited however for the steep food and rent prices!

Talya is heading to Dublin

Talya is going to Trinity College Dublin in Dublin Ireland (where Normal People was filmed!). She is continuing to do subjects for her sociology major while over there, and is particularly interested in learning about the ‘Irish Troubles’ conflict occurring from the 1970s-1990s. She says she chose Ireland because it is rich in culture and history, and makes it easy to go visit her European family and friends. She is super keen to get back into rugby as it is a popular sport over there, and also to experience Irish culture. She is not as keen for the weather, which she says can be even more rainy and cold than Melbourne!

Paddy is heading to North Carolina

Paddy is going to the University of North Carolina in North Carolina, USA. He is currently studying a Bachelor of Science and aims to do subjects in neuropsychopharmacology, neuroscience, pharmacology and physiology while over there. He says he chose the University of North Carolina so he could get a taste of the American university life, and be able to experience what life at a Division 1 American university is like. He is most excited to watch the football games for the university, but is most nervous about being in an environment that is so different and unfamiliar.

Lauren is heading to Vancouver

Lauren i​​s going to the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. She intends to study different topics that interest her but are not related to her degree, such as classes in poetry, gender studies, anthropology and Spanish. She says she has always wanted to visit Canada, especially because her sister lived there for three years and her brother lives nearby in the US. She is also passionate about traveling and living abroad, having done so since she was 15. She is very excited to travel around Canada and do lots of snow-related activities, as well as learning about Canada and its people, and a new university environment. She is a bit nervous about the administrative process, such as getting her visa and finding accommodation but she adds nothing will beat Hilda’s!