Hi, my name is Amelia Groenseth and I'm from Norway. I studied at UQ through the Study Abroad program in partnership with my home institution, the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU).
Why did you choose to study in Australia, and specifically at UQ?
Studying in Australia has always been a dream of mine and something I always knew I’d do. As soon as I had the opportunity to do an exchange semester as part of my Master of Education program at NTNU in Norway I knew it was time. A friend of mine highly recommended UQ and another student in my program had studied here a year before which meant that my credits would be easily approved when coming back to Norway.
What are your thoughts on studying in Australia and Brisbane?
What I like the most about living in Brisbane is the chill lifestyle in addition to the warm weather. While Brisbane is a big city, it's still small enough to be able to walk around and explore all kinds of different places around the city. Living in Australia enables travelling to a lot of unique and beautiful places you don't want to miss out on!
My favourite spot in Brisbane is definitely Kangaroo Point Cliffs Park and I’ve really gotten into rock climbing at the cliffs these past few months. Also, the UQ St Lucia campus is really unique – I’m sad that I didn’t get to spend more time there for lectures and tutorials this semester due to the coronavirus disruption.
I have travelled a lot in Queensland to so many cool places such as North Stradbroke Island, Fraser Island, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and Glasshouse Mountains. A lot of international students chose to go back to their home country during this crisis – however, with all these memorable experiences I am so glad that I decided to stay.
Hopefully I can come back to Brisbane and Australia one day – it's truly amazing!
What are the best things about studying at UQ?
I feel very much at home at UQ and was so sad to leave. I've made a lot of new friends, and although many had to go back home in March due to the crisis, I feel like those of us that stayed have become even closer as friends which I value a lot!
The lifestyle of this online semester has been both chill and challenging at the same time. It’s been difficult being away from home during these uncertain times, but with everything being online this enabled a lot of travelling and great experiences in and around Brisbane.
Studying at UQ has also definitely improved my English skills which will help me as I work towards a successful career as an English teacher in the future. Additionally, taking courses in Australia and learning about this country has increased my social science knowledge and broadened my perspective of the world.
Do you have any tips for students applying for study abroad?
Most students studying abroad at UQ have the opportunity to choose whatever courses they like. This means you can often go outside the topics for your program in your home country. This is a great advantage and definitely helps with study motivation.
My university was a bit more specific about the courses I could study. Because of this I had to browse through the courses available at UQ using the programs and courses search database to see if there were any courses that could match – and there were lots!
What advice would you give people from other countries about studying at UQ?
If you are considering a semester or even a full degree at UQ – do it! The campus is so unique with everything you can imagine (including a campus aquatic centre, hairdresser, dentist, food court and more) and the lecturers and tutors are beyond amazing.
The experience of living in a different country away from family and friends is something I will cherish forever.