The lower cost of living and potential for an authentic Australian experience were the two key factors that initially attracted Katie Burrows to a study exchange experience at the University of Adelaide. Her decision to trade in a year of study at her home university in Birmingham, England for a year of study at the University of Adelaide was cemented by the University’s undisputed reputation as one of the most well-respected research universities in Australia and the diversity of courses on offer.
Following extensive travel within Australia, Katie has found Adelaide to be one of her favourite cities because of its friendliness and size. She explains that “Whilst some call Adelaide small, I prefer to call it fun-sized...within a few months of being here walking through campus or down to Rundle Mall without bumping into someone I knew became quite a challenge.”
Like many exchange students, Katie has made the most of the opportunity to travel during university holidays. She cites the highlight so far as watching the spectacular fireworks display in Sydney Harbor on New Year’s Eve with a large group of friends from Adelaide. “It was an amazing and unforgettable experience.”
“I have enjoyed the subjects I have studied in the Asian department. They have expanded my knowledge of the Asia region.”
Becoming a member of The Exchange Student Network Committee has been a great social outlet and also enabled her to get involved in organising discounted trips for Exchange students to places like The Barossa Valley, one of Australia’s premier wine regions. “The weather was perfect, the scenery stunning and the wine divine and all only an hour from the centre of Adelaide.”
Katie lives in university accommodation called ‘The Village’, located in the city centre and within walking distance of the University. It has provided the perfect setting for meeting fellow international students from all over the world. “Last semester I lived with Swedes, a Malaysian and a man from Hong Kong. The tight network of friends meant I soon knew Americans, Canadians, Italians, French, fellow Brits and a few Australians.”
On Wednesday nights, Katie can often be found enjoying “far too much food and wine” with a group of friends in one of the delicious and student friendly restaurants on Gouger Street. “The hardest part is choosing whether to eat Chinese, Indian, Thai, Malay or Vietnamese. There is so much good Asian food in Adelaide that choosing a restaurant is always a dilemma.”
As far as study is concerned, Katie has particularly enjoyed the subjects she has studied within the Asian department as they have expanded her knowledge of the Asia region. Australia’s proximity to South East Asia means Asian Studies are more commonly offered than in universities in Europe.
Looking back, Katie believes that coming on exchange to Adelaide was one of the best decisions she ever made. “I would recommend the experience to anybody and next year I will definitely miss sitting by the River Torrens with friends when the sun is shining and my work for the week is finished!”