Bachelor of Science/Bachelor of Journalism, 4th year
Bachelor of Science/Bachelor of Journalism, 4th year

Academic experiences

I studied mostly microbiology courses whilst over in Toronto.
I found that although 5 subjects is a full study load at the University of Toronto, this course load was pretty heavy for Science subjects.
Most of the people studying there would do 5 courses and then drop the hardest one.
I had to only do four courses for unrelated reasons, but I am glad I did.

First Snow on UofT

Personal experiences

Whilst being in Canada and America, I gained friendships for life, travelled to 21 different cities, saw incredible sights like Niagara Falls and the Grand Canyon and was able to network with professors in my field for when I graduate and want to live overseas.

Accommodation

I lived on campus in Chestnut residence.
Personally, I hated the living arrangements, and the staff were unable to allow me to move rooms, or change living arrangements at all.
I would highly recommend looking for alternative arrangements when you get to your exchange city.
If you are able to stay in a hostel for the first week and look for accommodation, it will be much easier to organize and inspect the rooms.
Most residences will still have rooms available, just call them!
That way you won't get locked into an expensive residence you don't like.

Biggest Snowball Fight on UofT Campus

Budget

I spent about 16,000 for six months abroad.
That was including a very expensive residence I probably shouldn't have paid for, and two months of travelling across America.
My advice is to leave lots of money for travel after exchange ends.
Not one of my friends wanted to go home straight after the exchange, and they were all very jealous of my travel.
If you budget for travel before, you will know not to spend all your money on clothes you won't be able to fit in your suitcase.

Academic development and employability

Honestly, exchange won't increase your employability unless you let it.
I applied for internships in all the communications teams I could find whilst I was overseas, and achieved none of them - but I was able to attend a very informative science conference where I was able to network, as well as work on the World Science Festival in New York.
Look for opportunities, and ask!
Spending six months partying abroad won't increase your employability, but an internship in London sure will!

The CN Tower - an iconic part of Toronto

Highlight

My 21st birthday weekend was incredible.
When you are on exchange your friends become the closest thing you have to your family.
We did everything from going to a drag show to a house party to visiting maple syrup farms that weekend - and I don't think I could have ever topped it home in Brisbane.

Top tips

I actually wrote a piece about it here: http://hijacked.com.au/five-things-i-wish-i-knew-before-going-on-exchange
I obviously recommend going - it’s an experience you will never forget.
However don't stress out about the application process, it will work out.
And prepare to miss all of the new friends you make.

First Snow on UofT
 

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