My experience studying virtually at the University of Western Australia (UWA) has undoubtedly been a unique and enjoyable experience. However, I often wonder how different my experience would’ve been if I studied there in person.
One thing is for sure – I would’ve had to plan a lot more in advance and secure many items before beginning the exchange term. I would have to look into housing and view my options for living on residence, as well as book my tickets for flying to Perth. I would have to pack for a whole semester, as well as do my research and get an idea of the city of Perth, as I’ve never been there before!
After completing my pre-departure tasks and finally arriving at UWA, I am sure that it would feel like the first day of school again! I would have to figure out where the registrars are, sign in, and get my student card. The university is completely new to me and I would have to learn the layout of the campus in order to be able to maneuver my way around classes and appointments.
I think a great benefit to this would be that I would get the chance to meet people on campus and make friends both inside and outside of the UWA community. I’d have so many opportunities to meet other students, just by attending my classes, and it would be a lot easier to engage with them and form great friendships!
I think the learning environment would’ve also been different and a lot more interactive if I attended face-to-face lectures at UWA. Attending a regular lecture at UWA would’ve given me the chance to sense the culture of class environments there and this is something that I think is difficult to experience while studying virtually. It would also allow me to interact with my professors more closely and learn about them, which is always a great opportunity.
Last but not least, one of the most exciting aspects of an exchange that I think I would’ve experienced is getting the chance to travel around Australia and experiencing its culture! This is by far one of the greatest parts of going on an exchange and I do have to admit it is something I wish I could’ve done. I remember when I did a co-op term at Deloitte in Germany last year, I took the chance to travel as much as I could during the weekends and it was a fantastic experience!
Although doing a regular exchange would’ve definitely provided me with various different experiences and allowed me to engage more closely with UWA, I have still had great experiences studying virtually and I am extremely grateful for that. I have been able to learn so much about UWA and Australia, all from the comfort of my own home!