I have been studying in Melbourne, Australia now for 2 months and it has been the best experience! I have been participating in group assignments, group presentations and a group photo story. My course at home does not involve presentations or group work, therefore it is fun to experience something new. Also this way of being assessed has also boosted my grades so far, therefore it shows that different ways of teaching and assessing abroad can actually help your degree!
Apart from studying I have managed to travel up the East Coast of Australia to Byron Bay, the Gold Coast and Noosa in my mid-semester break. A lot of other international and exchange students want to travel while they are here as well so it is a great opportunity to travel in groups and make friends. New Zealand and Bali are also close to Australia so I am hoping to visit them places too.
I have not yet felt homesick as I am so busy with work, sight-seeing and travelling that I never feel alone. Also Skype and Facebook are a great way to keep in contact with people, I have managed to keep in contact with my friends and family at home regularly. The study abroad office at Essex university is also always very quick to reply to emails about any queries you have whilst you are abroad and are very helpful.
I have made some good friends from all over the world which is great because I have learnt about so many different cultures and languages. We are already planning to meet up next summer once we leave Australia!