Bachelor of Business Management, 2nd year
Bachelor of Business Management, 2nd year

Academic experiences

I took two marketing subjects and two electives (gender studies & religion) while I was studying at Queen's University.
I thoroughly enjoyed the change of academic atmosphere, particularly at the business school where I undertook my marketing subjects.
The most notable difference was there were 3 contact hours a week per subject broken into two 1.5 hour classes of about 40 students, both taught by a professor.
This intimate learning environment was extremely beneficial and was conducive to an interactive and involved class.
On the other hand, my two elective courses were taught in 3 hour chunks once a week which was a test of my attention and patience.

Lake Ontario!

Personal experiences

Thanks to this exchange program I was able to experience living out of home for the first time. Luckily, in Canada the native tongue is English (in Ontario, anyway) so the culture shock wasn't too bad.
I made a tonne of new Canadian friends and more from around the world, due to the large number of exchange students attending Queens.
I was on quite a tight budget while studying abroad so I wasn't able to explore and travel as much as I would have liked to.
However, I made it to Montreal and Toronto quite a few times and I travelled to the Dominican Republic with one of my housemates and her family which was fantastic.
As a born and bred Brissy girl, overcoming the extremely cold weather (-30 degrees Celsius at one point) was probably my most impressive personal obstacle.

My housemates - drinking out of red cups of course!

Accommodation

I found a house in the "ghetto" off-campus through a Facebook group recommended to me by a girl who had completed her exchange at the same university last year.
I was living with 4 other Canadian girls and I was extremely lucky to find them!
I was sub-letting off a girl who had come to Sydney for her exchange and we organised everything online super easily.
By living with Queen's students I was able to experience a true Canadian university experience, but I was also still able to meet other exchange students through the numerous activities and programs organised through the university.

Obligatory Queen's University photo

Budget

The prices in Kingston were quite similar to those here in Brisbane.
I paid about $600AUD in rent a month.
Food prices were on par, with some things being a little more expensive, fresh produce and cheese in particular (considering it was winter).
Alcohol was a little but not significantly cheaper after you factor in tip.
By far the most annoying thing about prices in Canada is that the tax is not included in the price, so you have to add 13% on every time you're budgeting for something.
The buses in Kingston are free if you flash your student card which is extremely handy, however most things are within walking distance of the "ghetto".
Academic development and employability
I believe that my participation in UQ's exchange program has definitely helped in my academic development.
Firstly, it was the first time I have not worked while studying which let me focus more on my school work.
Secondly, undertaking this exchange shows that I was able to take on new challenges and adjust to life elsewhere which are necessary life skills.

Highlight

I believe the single highlight of my experience would have been St. Patrick's Day.
I recall at about 2pm in the afternoon the streets were filled with revellers dressed in green.
The sense of community at the university was undeniable on this day.

Freezing in Montreal

Top tips

Firstly, make sure you’re studying the subjects you initially suggested to UQ.
Secondly, if you're living off campus make sure you organise how you will pay your rent.
It is extremely expensive to transfer money internationally from an Australian bank.
Also, make sure you mentally prepare for the change in weather (especially if you're going to the Northern Hemisphere in 1st semester).

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