Civil & Environmental Engineering student Sabrina Losciale recently spent time on exchange at RMIT University in Melbourne, one of Strathclyde's partner instituitions. Find out what hints and tips Sabrina has for studying abroad.
How did you find out about your exchange opportunity and why did you pick RMIT?
I have friends in higher years that went abroad and I also browsed on the university website in preparation.
The presentations held in second year were also really helpful.
I picked RMIT in Melbourne, Australia for several reasons. Firstly, I only wanted to be abroad for one semester, I didn’t want to go somewhere too cold but also somewhere I want to travel around.
What differences have you found between studying at home and abroad?
Academically, I haven’t found too many differences. At RMIT classes run from 8.30am to 10.30pm (for postgraduates) which I found shocking but that is common in countries like Spain as well so be aware of that. I found the most changes were in my own behaviour and the way I organise my days. I tend to be more efficient and productive because I want more time to explore and less time procrastinating!
What have you enjoyed most about studying abroad?
I really enjoy being able to travel around a new country while also keeping up with my studies. On exchange the workload is a little lighter for me than it would have been at Strathclyde, so I’m using my free time for sightseeing purposes. It’s also been exciting to discover a new university that is very different in size and style of Strathclyde, and the student community, including union, clubs and societies. Not complaining about getting in a bit of beach time when classes are over either.
What have been your best experiences about being in another country?
My best experiences are definitely related to sightseeing and travelling in my free time! I loved hiking in the Grampians Natural Park over weekend or seeing kangaroos in the wild. I was lucky to snorkel on the Great Barrier Reef and take tour in the Daintree Rainforest where I saw some fascinating animals such as cassowaries, forest dragons and crocodiles.
I also really appreciate those moments when I realise I have my favourites spots in the city like I’m a true Melbournian while also discovering a new cute alleyway every time I walk around, it never gets boring!
What advice would you give to students thinking of going on exchange?
Be prepared to feel homesick and be a bit lost at first. Definitely get out there as soon as you get there to meet people, especially if you go abroad by yourself.
Joining clubs and societies is always a great way to meet people. Stay informed about fairs and events at your host university, those can be very informative, sometimes include freebies and it’s a great way to hang out with your newly made friends.
The opportunities to travel and go sightseeing on weekends and holidays are endless, and that’s absolutely worth considering when choosing your host university.
What do you hope to do after you graduate?
I haven’t really decided as I like to think that I have time for that later. I’m hoping my studies will lead me to a job that is more on the environmental side of engineering. I would like to work on something innovative that will help protect the environment and reduce waste, electricity and greenhouse emissions.