Firstly, I attend all my lectures. I know this seems like a given, but we usually end up missing a few lectures here and there, don’t we? At the University of Western Australia (UWA), I make sure to attend every lecture and watch the recordings of all the lectures that I cannot attend due to the time difference. I always look forward to the lectures as I learn so much about the teaching style at UWA as well as different issues and perspectives on topics. For example, I am taking a course called Small Business Management, and I get to learn about startups and the management of business within the Australian context, which I wouldn’t have otherwise learned in my U of T business classes. This is why I’m motivated to attend even my midnight tutorials. Not to mention, it’s always a delight listening to the Australian accent!
I try to make use of the resources available to me at UWA as a virtual exchange student. During my virtual orientation, I noted down all of the resources that I would have access to. The one that I find really useful is the UWA app, which pairs up with my UWA calendar and helps me to stay organized with all my courses. It also gives me access to various resources on campus and shows updates on anything new happening at UWA, such as campus activities and events. This allows me to have a personalized and connected campus experience, even though I am not physically there!
I also try to engage with my professors as much as possible. I tend to participate quite a bit during my lectures and tutorials in order to get the most out of my courses. I then stay connected with my professors through email and office hours. I always try to make use of office hours whenever I have any questions or concerns and I have found this to be super helpful! There are also peer tutoring hours available to us and I have attended some for my language classes. This is another great way to discuss any questions I have regarding my courses.
Something that I had done very early on was make a list of goals that I wanted to achieve through my virtual exchange. I mentioned this in my last week’s post, and it is definitely something I recommend doing. This is a great exercise to prepare for the term and feel accomplished by the end of it when you get to tick off the items on your list!
The very last thing I do is keep a journal! In my journal, I jot down unique experiences or cool ideas that I come across during the term. This blog is another great way for me to share my experience. Afterward when I’ll be done my exchange, I’ll get to look back at these and reminisce the time here!