2010 - Sarah Donachie from Birmingham at UNSW

An exchange here has been one of the best things I’ve ever done.

When first deciding where to go on exchange, I never considered Australia as it seemed so distant and far away from the UK. But as I thought more about it - the stereotypical Australian characteristics, such as the friendly G’days and laid-back culture, it all started to become quite appealing.

When I first arrived in Sydney, my nerves were all over the place, but the excitement of going to a new university in a completely new place was overwhelming. I met my first friends at the orientation meetings within a couple of days and off we went to explore together.

Within the first two months of being in Australia, I had been to Sydney, Melbourne, Port Stephens, Canberra and planned a road trip up the East Coast! The workload was similar to at home, but I managed to sort my timetable to allow for a longer weekend which let me explore the country at the same time as study.

Alongside discovering parts of Australia, in the mid-term breaks I’ve managed to visit Fiji and China. Australia is the perfect spot from which to explore this part of the world. I’ve also met a lot of new friends to share this experience with! Some are from the UK, but the majority are Australian who love any excuse to explore parts of their country that they have yet to discover...which is a fair bit as Australia is massive!!

The people in Australia are really friendly, the scenery and weather is amazing, the university has a great student environment and an exchange here has been one of the best things I’ve ever done!