By Jude Wiggins, Geography, University of Queensland, Australia.
On July 15th, after a sneaky (two week) stop over in Japan on my way back from Australia I touched down in the UK after nearly 13 months away from home! My Summer was pretty blissful… I spent most of my time catching up with friends and family, went to a festival and slowly began my dissertation research. By the time September rolled around I was pretty excited to get back to Manchester as I hadn’t seen a lot of my Uni friends in well over a year. Me and my housemates alone covered Australia, America, Cuba, Colombia, France, Spain and Italy so we had loads to catch up on.
My last year abroad trip to Japan!
Getting back into the rhythm of Manchester took some time as Brisbane was so laid back and slow – I’d forgotten how busy it gets here. My first week back at Uni was also a bit of a shock to the system after a 3 month summer off! It’s week 3 now and I feel like I’ve settled back in pretty well, although I am so cold all the time and unfortunately it’s only going to get colder.
Between all the dissertation meetings, lectures, seminars, careers fairs and library dates it’s hard to believe that I was even away for a year. This probably sounds quite cringe but I can’t believe I actually did it. Around three years ago I was just settling into Manchester for my first year of University. Moving from the sleepy Welsh town of Llandrindod to Manchester felt like the biggest leap in the world. But 2 years later I was actually taking an even bigger leap to Australia! It’s crazy how much your confidence and independence can change and grow.
This will probably be my last blog so I feel I should try and sell UQ and Australia as much as possible! The University of Queensland campus is a paradise, the weather is beautiful and the people are so friendly. I took classes in everything from Indigenous Studies to Classics, Creative Writing and Ancient Greek. The way you’re taught from an international perspective broadens your perspective of knowledge and for me this was one of the most valuable things I took from my year abroad.
I couldn’t have asked for a better host country than Australia. There’s still so much I want to go back and see.. I only covered the East Coast! I was also lucky enough to travel to New Zealand, Indonesia and the Philippines… Without studying abroad I don’t think I would have had the confidence to travel to these countries.
After a year abroad I definitely have developed an appetite for travel and everything international. Right now I feel very focused on studying and finishing University to the best of my ability. But looking to graduation and the future, I can’t wait to see where I end up.. Thanks for reading my blogs guys!
Bye for now OZ!