The festive season is finally here! For third-year students at Sup’Biotech, this means the end of the adventure that is their Semester Abroad. At our partner institutions across the globe, our students are handing in final essays, returning their library books and packing their suitcases, ready to come home for Christmas. Among them are Gabriela Sachet-Fernandez and Louis Faure-Geors, two third-years who have spent the semester at the University of Queensland, in Brisbane, Australia. Here, they share the highs and lows of their experience with Alicia Hogan, from the International Office at UQ.
1) What was your favourite thing about UQ? What I really enjoyed about UQ is the grading system based mostly on regular essays that we have to submit. Compared to weekly exams, it’s a better way to evaluate the student, in my opinion. The campus is also extraordinary, like a small city in itself, and the freedom provided by the schedule is especially enjoyable for a foreign student.
2) What was your favourite course? My favourite course was Australia’s Terrestrial Environment. In this course you study about all the fauna and the vegetation in Australia which is really interesting and the field trip (which is really not a vacation!) allowed me to see gorgeous landscapes.
3) What was your favourite thing about Brisbane / your favourite place in Brisbane? My favourite thing about Brisbane was the total difference in the architecture compared to a European city. My favourite place in the city was South Bank, as the view is nice and there are a lot of nice tiny bars near the River, it’s perfect to watch the twilight.
4) What was the biggest difference between studying at Sup’Biotech and studying at UQ? There many differences but in my opinion the biggest one is the amount of free time you have when you study in UQ. If you don’t fill this free time with activities it can be depressing so subscribe to different clubs and or the gym is the advice.
5) Was there anything you found difficult about studying at UQ / living in Brisbane? The thing that makes studying at UQ hard is that in all the classes, even the one dedicated to foreign students, the vast majority of the other students will be either from the UK or from the US and so the level of English required can be hard to reach. But having friends from an English speaking country can counter that, as they can provide help for proofreading essays.
6) Would you recommend UQ to your classmates? Why? I definitely recommend it for two main reasons. The first reason is you get to live in a country with a totally different culture/landscape/fauna, which is an amazing experience. The second one is that for those who still live with their family, as was the case for me, living by yourself for five months really makes you grow up. Here, ‘down under’, you are really cut off for five months from your former life. It’s a new start, and this is definitely something worth experiencing as a young adult.
1) What was your favourite thing about UQ? My favourite thing about UQ is the campus itself. It is full of life, there is always something going on.
2) What was your favourite course? My favourite course was MARS2005 : Australia’s Marine Environment, mainly because of the field trip to Heron Island.
3) What was your favourite thing about Brisbane / your favourite place in Brisbane? My favourite thing about Brisbane is its location. You can be on the Gold Coast or the Sunshine Coast in just one hour, and it is half way between Sydney and the Great Barrier Reef, so it’s easy to explore the country.
4) Was there anything you found difficult about studying at UQ / living in Brisbane? Having all my courses in English was a little bit difficult when I arrived, but I rapidly got used to it.
5) Would you recommend UQ to your classmates? Why? Of course I would recommend UQ to my classmates. It was a lovely experience, and if I could do it all again, I’d do it without hesitation.