History of Art – MA (Hons) student Chloe Phillips went to University of Sydney for her 3rd year of study during the 2016/17 academic year.
What were some of your first impressions when you started your time studying abroad?
The History of Art department is smaller than in Edinburgh, and it shared many of its courses with the Film Studies department, so I had to choose outside of my usual subject area. This was great, as it gave me the opportunity to take courses on things like Australian History.
The lectures were also longer (around two hours) which made them really conversational and open to students asking questions or sharing ideas halfway through.
What activities outside of your studies did you get involved in?
I became part of the student radio station, SURGFM. I’d been part of FreshAir Radio at Edinburgh – and had my own show – and so I wanted to keep that up while I was in Australia. It turned out to be really interesting, as I had to shift my discussion and focus to Australian events. I became more engaged with local news and began to see how Australian student life differed from the UK.
What kind of places did you visit during your time there?
The University of Sydney (like most Australian universities, I think) gives you a week off each semester. In September, some friends and I decided to drive to Uluru. We drove for three days, travelling 1600km through the stunning Australian outback. We also visited some of the fascinatingly peculiar little towns hundreds of kilometres from anywhere else. It was probably the best experience of my life, driving for hours alone in the desert and witnessing an Australia that not many people get to see.
There’s lots to do around Sydney, too, and public transport out of the city is really cheap. We spent a weekend walking in the Blue Mountains and a week camping on the beach in the Royal National Park south of Sydney.
Tell us about some of the people you met during your studies
The university is incredibly international. As soon as you meet one member of the international community you just seem to make friends with more and more people. I will definitely go back to Australia, but I’ve also made friends from all corners of the globe that I can visit too.