Shay Patel - Exchange Testimonial
Shay Patel undertook a full-year exchange program at the University of Adelaide in 2022-2023. After traveling all the way from Bristol in the UK, Shay studied Business and Economics courses.
What drove you to apply to be an Exchange student?
I knew that I would never get a better opportunity in my life to travel somewhere to study for a year, so I knew I couldn’t miss this opportunity. Travelling has always been a passion of mine, and I knew that this experience could have the potential to change my life for the better.
Why did you choose to study at the University of Adelaide as an Exchange student?
The statistics proved the credibility of the University of Adelaide, so I knew immediately that they would be providing world-class, elite education. More than just the education side of things, I saw the great extracurricular side of the university and the natural beauty of the city itself.
What did you like most about Adelaide?
I love the culture of Adelaide. Adelaide is a very liveable city as I learned very early on in my time here. Everyone is so friendly, it’s so convenient in terms of getting around, by either walking, take the tram or the bus. There are so many places to explore, particularly Rundle Mall which has so many shops and great fooderies of all variations of cuisine, particularly Asian cuisine which is so authentic! The abundance of greenery and beaches is simply mesmerising!
What did you do in your spare time?
In my spare time, I spent a lot of time at the university gym which had an unmatched culture and communal feel. I watched some AFL matches and hung out with friends at the beach too.
What did you enjoy about your academic experience?
I enjoyed utilising the university’s phenomenal facilities, particularly the student hub which has everything a student needs. The university hub is a great place to meet locals too as all the students are so friendly and always happy for a chat.
The teachers were all super friendly and available for me whenever I needed something, and I loved learning about my course content through the rich history of Australia too!
I found the classes here encourage much more participation which I love, as we are really encouraged to speak up in class and interact with other students, making the classroom a much more friendly environment where I don’t have to be afraid of saying the wrong thing.
What do you like most about the University of Adelaide?
The facilities are top notch, the campus is so conveniently constructed with plenty of study spaces, chill out spaces and food areas like cafes.
The work load was very manageable but also challenging enough that I was learning new things, but I also had enough down time to focus on my other passions too.
Have you made many friends? If so, how did you meet them?
I have made a lot of international friends from my accommodation and social events, which has been great as I’ve learnt so many things about other countries and cultures that I never knew about. I have also made a few Australian friends in the gym, in my classes and other clubs such as the athletics clubs. But admittedly it was tough to make good Australian friends because I noticed a lot of them live at home so don’t leave their house much except to go to university. Since many of them grew up here with each other, they seemed to already be set on their friends. Despite this, Australians were all super friendly when I did chat to them in classes and clubs.
What are your top 3 favourite things about being a University of Adelaide student?
1. I love having access to the university hub.
2. I am grateful for the high quality education that this institution offers.
3. I love the clubs and associations organised through this university, in particular the events organised by StudyAdelaide and Youx.
What type of accommodation did you choose to live in?
I stayed in student accommodation, called Scape. It was right opposite the university, and cost $329 a week for a full year contract (2022-2023). I stayed in an 8 bedroom shared flat.
There are loads of student accommodation choices in Adelaide, and I loved living in Scape because of its convenient location, the great international students also living there, and the great events they organised too!
What has been the highlight of your exchange experience?
The highlight of this experience has definitely been the travelling experiences. I went to Thailand, and I traveled around Australia to Melbourne, Sydney, Gold Coast, Byron Bay, Brisbane and the Great Barrier Reef in Cairns. These experiences have truly opened my eyes to the beauty of the world we live in!
What is a surprising moment you have had?
I was surprised how Westernised Australia is, because sometimes I even felt like I was back in England! But I do love the Aussie BBQ and the AFL, which is actually a remarkable game once I figured out how it actually works.
The most surprising moment I had was when I learned about the Aboriginal culture over here, specifically how unfairly they were treated in the past.
Tell us about your most challenging experience during you program.
My most challenging experience here would have been working in the 40 degree heat in the peak of summer. I was working down on the Ferris Wheel in Glenelg, which is an outdoor job. So, when it hit 40 degrees in the summer, it was super tough to adjust to this as the highest temperature I had experienced in my life beforehand was 30 degrees. But it was easy to adjust to it because I was right by the sea so could just jump in the water whenever it was getting too hot!
How has living in Australia changed you as a person?
My experience in Australia has been life changing to say the least. It has helped me realise my purpose and passion in life, which is to be a positive influence on the lives around me. I have learnt the importance of good character and integrity, and most importantly I have learnt a lot about what true friendship looks like. I have realised just how beautiful and amazing the world really is, so it is my duty to be a better person and play my part in leaving a positive mark on the world.
What advice would you give to others about South Australia?
It's not actually as cheap as I was expecting with very similar prices to the UK so make sure to budget appropriately before.
Also, remember that schooners are only 2/3 of a pint size!
How has your exchange prepared you for the future?
It is given me more awareness of the wider world as a whole, and changed by whole perspective on life! Being overseas by yourself speaks volumes about your character. It shows you are not afraid to step out of your comfort zone, and at the end of the day will only make you stronger as an individual.
Would you recommend an exchange experience at the University of Adelaide? If so, why?
I would 100% recommend this experience to anyone who wants to better prepare themselves for the future. The University of Adelaide offers opportunity. It has given me new perspectives, allowed me to explore the world and interact with people of all different cultures who I never would have met if I had just stayed at my home university. Most importantly though, this university has offered me the opportunity to learn about myself, and what I truly value in life.
The exchange experience here is so well organised and the Study Oversres team at the University of Adelaide is so amazingly co-ordinated to give us the best and most comfortable experience possible. It is truly such a privilege to have this opportunity, and words can’t express how beneficial this experience can be for anyone!