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A guide to maximising spring break – Aussie edition

by Lauren Tennant, University of New South Wales, Australia

In October I was in full swing of my first full semester at UNSW and the 14th October marked my final deadline before ‘reading week’ aka spring break. Myself and 8 friends headed off to Byron Bay, Gold Coast, Brisbane, Sunshine Coast, and Rainbow Beach in what was my first time leaving Sydney since arriving in August. Studying abroad in such an incredible country like Australia means it’s even more important to be organised with uni work so that you are able to squeeze in as much travel as possible. So, hopefully some of the below pointers are useful.

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1 MONTH TILL CHRISTMAS

by Lola Bianchi, University of Guelph, Canda

It’s the end of November and I swear I can already smell the pigs in blankets and mulled wine from across the pond. Like I said in my previous post, I still have an insane amount of work, and it’s very frustrating as everything is always worth 10/15% of your total grade and as such it makes it hard to tell how much work you are supposed to put into it or what the expectations are. However, all my grades have been very good so far, which in a way is frustrating as I never do this well at home, and this is a pass/fail year.

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Let’s BeReal About The Workload

Work smart, Not hard.

by Olivia Bucherer-Ezer, University of Toronto, Canada

In the flurry of signing onto an exchange year, sorting out accommodation and figuring out how to fit 30kg of stuff you probably don’t need into a 23kg suitcase I almost forgot that I was moving across the pond to attend university, learn and do work. 

Once the novelty of new lecturers, peers, new libraries to explore and campus to navigate wore off a little, the reality of attending Canada’s most prestigious university set in. 

my tongue seems to make a stronger feature in this blog than my work ethic...
my tongue seems to make a stronger feature in this blog than my work ethic…

As someone who is prone to becoming stressed from work, I was surprised that I wasn’t losing my mind over the amount being dished-out. Reminiscing over the glorious panic attacks I used to have at the beginning of first year, merely because I couldn’t workout how to login to my university email or find the link of a reading I really didn’t need to do, actually taught me more than I could have imagined at the time. 

Learning to emotionally detach from work when it is a pass/fail year is the best way to get assignments ticked off the list without it impeding on your social life. Not to say, you shouldn’t try, but rather do what needs to be done, and take extra care over the things you enjoy. 

giddy in the libby
giddy in the libby

As such, the work at the university or Toronto has taught me heaps beyond just what the content consists of. How to manage my time, balance university with socialising and detach from work not worth stressing over have been key to both mental and academic success! 

helps that the libraries have a good ol' view
helps that the libraries have a good ol’ view

The takeaway of this blog post is not to discard university life, after all that’s the big reason for doing an exchange; to experience a new style of learning. Instead, engaging in work – especially the parts you most enjoy – while understanding your limits ensures you have the energy to enjoy the rest of what a year abroad has to offer.

As someone wise once said, work smart not hard. 

Managing homesickness – some (hopefully) helpful advice!

by Aimee Kinniburgh, Universiteit van Amsterdam, Netherlands

When moving abroad, so much of what you’re told is positive: you’ll make the best friends, you’ll experience new cultures, you’ll learn so much about yourself. Of course, all of this is true and already my year abroad is turning into one of the best years of my life. However, what I think people often miss is that whilst you experience some of the highest highs, that also comes with experiencing some of the lowest lows. This isn’t in any way to put you off going, I fundamentally think it’s one of the best things you could ever do. But given all of this I thought it might be a good idea to write about my experiences with homesickness and some of the ways I found to deal with missing your home comforts and life back home, in the hope that maybe this helps someone else feeling this way, or in the least act as some free therapy for me!

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Academic life at The University of Warsaw

By Greta Gibbons, University of Warsaw, Poland

The workload of an Erasmus course at the University of Warsaw is a lot less than what is expected of a normal academic year at the University of Manchester. This is great during your study abroad as it meant that you have a nice balance between studying and doing things like socialising, travelling, and enjoying the change of lifestyle and culture.

This was also a great opportunity to study a wide range of subjects that had never been on offer to me before in Manchester. I studied the following modules on the Law Erasmus+ programme. 

  • Criminalistics and Forensic Studies 
  • EU Food Law
  • EU Medical Law and Bioethics
  • International Organizations
  • Mergers And Acquisitions
  • Mixed Jurisdictions Worldwide 
  • Applied Criminology
  • Commercial Law and the Basic Institutions of Company Law 
  • Constitutional Law 
  • Freedom Of Speech in The Us Supreme Court Jurisprudence
  • Legal Mediation 
  • Polish Criminal Procedure

All of these were super interesting and engaging topics to study and the lecturers were top class. My favourite class was criminalistics and forensics as it was very hands on when we were analysing fingerprints and DNA samples.

As well as the nature of academic life in Warsaw, the campus itself was so beautiful too, which makes it an enjoyable place to study. The botanical rooftop library garden was a real highlight. 

Overall, university life at the University of Warsaw was incredible and I would really recommend a applying for the academic side of the university alone, not just the amazing city it is in!

First Impressions of Sustainability in Amsterdam

By Molly Hayward, University Of Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Amsterdam is well known as an ‘eco-capital’ and is a prominent example of a sustainable city. This was one of the elements that led to me choosing it for my study abroad. Since arriving, a couple of months ago, I have had time to create initial impressions of how true this is on the ground, these are my thoughts:

Firstly there is a great deal of visible sustainability. The UVA campus has lots of water points scattered around, the coffee machines recommend re-using the compostable cup and there is a notable lack of plastic disposal cutlery available – choosing instead the wooden alternative.

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Amsterdammer Diaries: First* Month Favourites

*and second

By Hannah Carter-Moore, University of Amsterdam

The fact that I haven’t had time until now to sit down and write my first blog since arriving here in ‘Dam should give you a sense of what a full on experience it’s been so far. 

I’m currently sitting on my sweet canal-side terrace trying to catch the last rays before Amsterdam plunges into Winter, finally taking the moment to reflect on this crazy past month.

not a bad view eh?
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Challenges of Homesickness, by an English living in America

By Megan Bateman, Indiana University Bloomington, USA

At the current time of writing, I am exactly 2 and a half months into my year abroad in the USA. I can say it has absolutely flown by, which is why I have only just found the time to write my first blog post on Manchester On The Road! Whilst I have already experienced many different things here like my first American football game (separate blog post coming for that!), American culture and nightlife, there have been times when I have found myself really missing Manchester.

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Midterm Mizzou Updates!

by Becky L, University of Missouri, USA

We are just about to finish our 9th week of classes at Mizzou, and I’m well and truly into the swing of things now!

Over the last few weeks I’ve had plenty of coursework and some exams to complete. One of my classes has a weekly quiz that I keep on top of, allowing me to revise the topics as I go. Alongside this, I have had an exam in all 3 of my in-person classes. Having not taken closed-book, in-person exams since 2019, I was very nervous for these exams, but it turns out I had no reason to be! All of the teachers at Mizzou are really supportive and happy to answer any questions that you might have, and I really think they helped me do so well in my exams!

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Life at The ANU

By Honor Cessford, The Australian National Univeristy, Australia

I must admit, when I found out I was going to be living in Canberra for a year I was a little apprehensive due to its reputation. If you haven’t heard, Canberra is known to be a boring, lifeless city – however this is far from the truth! I am writing this as I finish my first semester at ANU, and I can say I love Canberra!

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