Program at UQ: Bachelor or Arts / Bachelor of Engineering

Having come from the laid-back Sunshine Coast, spending a year in the most lively city in the world has been the most mind-blowing experience of my life. Every time I went to central Shinjuku I would think to myself, "Wow, I'm in Tokyo."

The suburb I was living in at the dormitories of The University of Electro-Communications was just 20 minutes from Shinjuku by train. Surrounded by nature, it was easy to escape the busyness of the Tokyo lifestyle.

Despite studying the majority of my classes in English, I had the opportunity to meet and work many local students who had an interest in taking classes in English. Studying with people using a different language is certainly a challenge. The university 'circles' (clubs) were also a great way to meet locals and get involved in the Japanese university student lifestyle and improve my language skills.

Studying at a much smaller university than UQ has been an interesting experience, as everything is much more personalised. However it has also helped me appreciate UQ more.

Studying as an exchange student has also meant I have had the opportunity to meet many other exchange students from countries such as Mexico to Iran to Thailand to Estonia. These friendships will last a lifetime and also means free accommodation when I visit their countries :)

From Tokyo I've also had the opportunity to experience other parts of Japan such as climbing to the top of Mt Fuji, visiting temples in traditional Kyoto, riding the Shinkansen at 270km/hr, and tasting the famous foods of various regions. Soon I will also experience my first winter Christmas, a little different from the Christmas I know in Australia - eating prawns on the beach.

It has absolutely been the most amazing year of my life and has inspired me to take my future in directions I had never thought of. I highly recommend a year abroad to anybody even considering it.


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