An adventure you will remember forever!

I wanted to study abroad for the experience of living, working and studying in a completely different environment.

Study abroad in Australia (Monash)Academically Monash was a great choice. I was able to select modules which covered different areas and texts in English Literature. I was also able to select the module 'Australian Idol'. This gave me an insight into Australia historically, politically and culturally. It also provided many trips including a trip to an Aussie Rules football game and the outback mining town of 'Broken Hill'. It was a unique place to visit off the tourist map. It revealed a different side to the Australia we experienced in Melbourne; including going down an old mine and visiting the 'Flying Doctor's Service'.

My classes were mainly seminar driven in larger groups. Assessments were also different to that of Reading; with presentations, pop quizzes, interviews and response papers along with essays. I found this different take a challenging and rewarding experience. Since returning to Reading I have felt more driven and focused, which is definitely down to the academic experience of studying abroad.

I lived on campus, and worked at an onsite cafe. This was the best way to meet a variety of locals and international students. As everyone said beforehand, 'your accent gets you everywhere'. I never felt isolated due to everyone being incredibly friendly. The support available and the openness of fellow students meant it soon felt like home.

Melbourne is now my favourite city in the world. It is completely different to the stereotypical view of Australia - it is green, metropolitan and culturally diverse (but there are still lots of bbq's and beaches!). We would always aim to go into the city on the weekend; for a night out; tourist day or to discover local spots. The universities' societies also provided free tickets for film festivals, music events such as the opera, ran trips to Victoria's tourist spots such as Philip Island to see the famous 'fairy penguins', and trips to go surfing. I also took advantage of travelling to other areas of Australia. Myself and a friend hired a camper van for a week's adventure down the Great Ocean Road to Adelaide and the Grampians. I also travelled up the West Coast from Perth to Broome, explored Tasmania and took advantage of the flight distance by stopping off in Singapore for a few days.

Study abroad; it is at times challenging, but in the end it is worth it, as it is an adventure you'll remember forever. It has been the best decision I have ever made; helping me grow in all areas of life and gain a group of friends from around the world. It turned out to be the most rewarding, and best five months of my life.

I loved all of it!

Emma Reeves, BA English Literature

Monash University (Australia)

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