Gaijin Girl, Impartations

Big News – I’m Flying Out

It’s official – after much thought I have decided to go on exchange next year!

Details aren’t set in stone yet but the plan is to go to the United States, to the University of Colorado in Boulder.  I’ll be going for six months/one semester, during the Spring session – Fall in America.  For anyone else thinking of going to Colorado (or anywhere else on exchange), I tend to over-research and over-plan so here’s what I’ve learnt so far.

  1. First things first.  You have to decide if you want to go on exchange (studying at one of UOW’s partner universities), or study abroad (choosing a university of your own to study at).  I recommend exchange, simply because exchange will be cheaper.  Tuition at American universities can range between $10,000 and $30,000 for a single semester – and that’s just for Arts!  Going on exchange means that you’ll only pay what you’d normally pay for a semester at your own university in Aus.  UOW lists all its partner universities on its exchange homepage – have a look.
    However, if you’re set on studying abroad at a certain university (something like NYU, Harvard or MIT for example), there’s nothing stopping you so long as you can afford it.  Student Central can help you with applications, fees, passport and Visa issues, housing and anything else you might need.
  2. Want to check out which uni is best for your discipline?  Good news – all that info is online.  I’ve decided to go with UCB after looking at universities on Top Universities website.  It’s the home of the QS World University rankings, so if attending a university with a high academic record is important to you, I highly recommend checking out the rankings for 2016-2017.  You can also search for universities that are strong in your faculty (Arts and Humanities for me) or narrow it down to your specific subject (for me, Communications and Media Studies).  The top three for me were:
    • University of Colorado Boulder,
    • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and
    • Indiana University Bloomington.
  3. Do your research!  Once you have your uni shortlist, look into everything that each university has to offer you.  Consider what is important to you and what you can do without.  Personally, I’m a mad skiier and snowboarder so Colorado was an easy choice, but during my research I found that there is plenty of nearby housing, concerts on campus, a great social (see: party) atmosphere and modern facilities, not to mention the most picturesque campus and view I’ve ever seen.  Illinois also sounded good and is one of the highest ranked universities overall and in my field, but I was turned off by the accommodation options and the level of safety, especially in the capital city of Chicago.
    A good blog to check out is University Primetime – this was what eventually convinced me to choose Colorado after their amazing review of its highlights.

TL;DR – I’m going on exchange next year to Colorado and I over-planned, so I shared some of my knowledge in this post.

That’s all for now!  I’ll be posting more about this as the date gets closer.  I’m also thinking about making a third blog dedicated to my overseas adventures – good or bad idea?  Let me know.



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