Hannah: Looking Back on my Study Abroad Experience

As I am writing this I am back in sunny New Zealand. My exchange is officially over. This experience has been one of the best in my life and one I will remember forever. Looking back I’ve decided to start with some things that I found difficult or did not enjoy that much and then I will talk about all the things I loved.

1. The first thing that I struggled with and did not find that enjoyable were the actual classes in St. Andrews. The lecturing style was quite different to Auckland and I definitely enjoy it better back here in NZ (this might just be because I’m used to it).

2. Another thing that was a bit difficult to get used to were the cleaning inspections of my apartment/flat at University. This could get very tiring, especially as sometimes I was cleaning all by myself and other times some of us were left cleaning up other people’s mess.

3. One thing that was a bit annoying was the course enrolment for Auckland when I was returning. Due to me being on an exchange it was quite a complex process getting enrolled in courses. Therefore, I would recommend getting all the information you can and being prepared to have slower enrolments. I would also recommend maybe talking to the head of your department before leaving so they know you will be away and can help you out if needed.

After all these negatives let’s move right on to the things I loved and will miss incredibly.

1. The people that I have met. Everyone I met in St. Andrews was incredible. I made some friends that will hopefully be for life.

Me with Kaitlin, Elizabeth and Rachel. Just a few of the incredible girls I met in this tiny corner of the world

2. The town of St. Andrews. I am in love with Scotland as whole and I adore this town I got to call my home for 3 months. I loved the cobbled stoned streets, the old houses and the fact that you could walk everywhere.

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3. I got to see so much of Europe. I adored every city, town and country I got to visit. I’m already counting down the days until I can go back.

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Me with my two best friends; Sam and Ellie in Portree.
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Scotland is my favourite place in the world and I still cannot believe I got to live there.

4. One thing that I got out of this experience that I would have never received staying here in Auckland is independence. I loved living by myself and learning to make my own decisions and looking after myself.

5. The whole experience was an incredible opportunity that I am so thankful to have been given. I still have to pinch myself to remind myself that I was able to study in my favourite country in the entire world. If you are thinking of going on an exchange I would 100 percent recommend it. Although I had a few negatives the positives far outweighed them and I would not have changed one thing about my time in St. Andrews.

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Thank you for reading all my blog posts. I had so much fun writing them and sharing this incredible experience with all of you. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to send me an email at hfre260@aucklanduni.ac.nz

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