Hi everyone. I’ve been down under now for nearly seven months. Though currently, I’m travelling around New Zealand with my brother and cousin who came over for a holiday (and maybe to see me). In this blog, I’m going to be talking about some of the skills I’ve learnt and plans I’ve been making due to my time here. I’ve gained a lot in my time in Australia, and that’s an understatement. Classic year abroad cliché!
Whilst at the University of Sydney, I’ve been able to study modules different from Natural Sciences at York. This is mostly due to having taken my exchange as an additional year, rather than a replacement year. For example, I have learnt how to code in MATLAB as well as learning other computational skills, something not offered to me at home.
In one of my units in the first Semester, I had the amazing opportunity to do an individual project with a research group in Physics. This involved planning my own work time, meeting with the research group, completing a report and a final presentation. I had to do a lot of self-motivating and became more confident about my own decisions surrounding the research. I learnt everything takes three times longer than you expect when it comes to a project! Often, there is a high-pressure moment near the end of a project where you are trying to complete everything in a mad rush. I believe this has all prepared me well for my final year project in York. Next Semester, I’m intending to do a group project with an industry partner, so hopefully, I’ll have gained even more skills in a few months’ time!
A new perspective
Studying abroad, meeting lots of people at different stages of life has really opened my eyes to all the opportunities and routes available to me. This has revealed to me that I don’t want to go down the bachelors – masters – PhD/grad scheme – job for life route (at least not yet). During my time here, I’ve decided to change down from a MSci to a BSc. If I’d stayed in the UK, I would have done my Masters specialising in Physics. But getting away for a while and studying different subjects, I’ve realised that I don’t want to take Physics any further than a Bachelors. I would like to study a Masters and maybe a PhD in another subject, using my skills from Physics, and in a different place, maybe abroad!
Saying all this, I am really looking forward to coming back for my last year in York. Whilst I only want to do one more year, I do love living there. I can’t wait to be with my friends again (those staying on for another year), go back to societies, and ride my bike in the beautiful Yorkshire countryside!
This was a brilliant insight into a year abroad. University is a brilliant time to get out of your comfort zone and experience a new culture and lifestyle. Great that it gave you clarity on your life plan too!