Written by Rachel Wyatt, BA Art and Psychology

Study Abroad! There was so much to choose from; the art department had partnerships in every corner of the globe. Should I spend the term in Taiwan, or in Canada? I was very tempted by The University of Ottawa, because of the university’s facilities, and because of the opportunity to learn French as I study. For the same reason, I put Dijon as my second choice, aware of the open doors between countries in Europe, at least before Brexit is completed.

However, I eventually decided to put Monash University as my first choice, and spend the term studying in Melbourne, Australia.

Studying Communication Design at Monash

I submitted my choices in November, and once I had been accepted by Monash following that term’s results, I could begin the process of choosing my modules.

The facilities were a large part of the reason I chose to study at Monash. Eventually, I chose to study Art and Design in Film, Photographic Art Direction, Creative Coding, and Illustration for Narration. As I was studying abroad with art, they would only approve art related modules, and I became a ‘Communication Design’ student based on my choices.

Students of other University of Reading departments may be allowed to choose modules from a range of disciplines. I was so excited to start studying, joining societies, and exploring Australia!

Memories to cherish

Finally it was time to fly out. I was extremely lucky to be going to the same university as another girl on my course. We flew together to Melbourne, and to several other locations around Australia.

Extremely aware that the five months abroad were flying by, we crammed each weekend with domestic flights and adventures. Just around the corner from the university was the Great Ocean Road, with some of the top surfing spots in the world. In the longer breaks we were able to explore as far north as Darwin, where we swam in waterfalls and saw wildlife.

New skills, new opportunities

As well as memories, I came back from Australia with a lot of new skills. I had made a film, as well as several illustrations and animations, all of which contributed to my portfolio. Since returning, it has been very helpful to be able to write about my experience in my CV, and to show potential employers my expanded portfolio.

A term since my return, I have now resumed my Fine Art practice, incorporating what I had learned abroad, completed this year’s Psychology modules, and obtained an internship in a design agency. My time abroad and my freedom of module choice helped me to clarify what I really wanted to do when I finish university.

Five months with my family and new friends abroad was never going to be enough, and I often think about the good times we had together. Australia offers sights that no other country can, from laneways full of graffiti artists, to kangaroos roaming the mountain ranges.

Study Abroad with the University of Reading gave me the chance to see more of the world, how other universities work, and to meet people from all different backgrounds. Some friends were Australian, but several were other Study Abroad students. One thing that we all have in common is a desire to go out, to learn and explore. I have been left with friends and experiences that I will never forget.