Katherine shares her experience of life in the UK as an exchange student at WBS; from making life-long friends to discovering more about her ‘second home’ and learning from world-class academics.
Often the idea of going on a ‘year abroad’ is quite romanticised. Students having ‘life changing’ experiences and ‘finding themselves’ are quite common things to hear when speaking to ex-exchange students. I’d heard the clichés and I’m sure you would’ve too. I’ve just finished up my semester abroad and I’m here to tell you what an exchange semester at WBS is really like.
So, to start with, an introduction - my name is Katherine and I’m a final year student from Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. I’m about to graduate with a Bachelor’s in Business with a double major in Management and Human Resource Management. I love to travel, have a keen interest in photography and love to hike.
Coming to study in the UK was something that had always appealed to me. My family are from England and I’ve grown up hearing so much about life in the UK. I have always had this underlying urge to come and experience life here first-hand and an exchange seemed like the perfect opportunity to do that. When I was considering my options for which university to choose, WBS clearly stood out. I guess I had a bit of an unusual experience moving to the UK due to my British heritage, in a way it felt like coming back to a second home. That being said, the community at Warwick and WBS made this even more like a home away from home - from freshers week all the way through to well after my term was finished.
So why WBS? I’m sure you would already know from the rankings and reputation that both the University of Warwick and WBS are particularly good institutions. But what can’t be measured by statistics and numbers is the culture. The community at Warwick is incredible. The huge focus on clubs and societies makes finding new friends effortless. I will really miss that when I go home. Of course, it wasn’t always easy. Life still happens whether you’re at home or abroad, and sometimes being so far from home (roughly 17,000km in my case) can make things a bit more overwhelming. It might seem silly, but this was something I wasn’t really prepared for. You hear all about the excitement and fun times that you’ll have on exchange, but a lot of the time people leave out their struggles. I think this is something really important to keep in mind. Luckily the staff at WBS, the Wellbeing services at the university and the incredible friends I made here were always readily available to listen and help out in any time of need. Also, remembering that your friends and family are just a phone or skype call away is really valuable.
I thoroughly enjoyed my time at WBS, and I wish it could’ve been longer. Coming to WBS was one of the best, if not the best, decision I’ve ever made. I’ve made life-long friends and connections and learnt so many lessons both in and out of the classroom. I will forever cherish the time I got to spend here. So, is the idea of exchange romanticised? Absolutely. But are the rumours true? They absolutely can be. Participating in an exchange at WBS can be whatever you want it to be. For me, I used it to make lifelong friends, learn more about my ‘second home’ and learn from some world-class academics. I’m now looking into post-graduate options here because I loved it so much. For you? You get to decide how your exchange could be. If you got this far though, I think we both know that you should at least give it a go.
At Warwick Business School, we offer Undergraduate exchange opportunities to students from our partner institutions which range from 1 term to a full year. Students have the opportunity to take a range of modules from across WBS's subject disciplines and immerse themselves in British culture in a campus environment.
If you are interested in undertaking an exchange placement at Warwick Business School, please contact the Student Mobility Team in Student Opportunity.