Second year Biotechnology student, Bhumiben Shukla, has recently come back from Australia after completing a semester at the University of Sydney. Although the reason for her trip down under was mainly academic, Bhumi took advantage of what could be a once in a life time trip by exploring oz, from The Gold Coast to Whitehaven Beach. Discover more about her six month trip below…
Settling back into Manchester from the adventure of Australia has been a gradual (and cold) transformation. The memories and skills I have taken from Sydney will last with me for a lifetime.
The University of Sydney
In my first semester at Manchester, I was eager to try everything. I was a first year, of course I had that spirit! I came across a ‘Go Abroad’ page when exploring the UoM website for opportunities. That’s when I really knew, I had to do it! FBMH doesn’t offer a conventional degree with a year abroad, so an exchange programme was ideal. After patience, and good grades (so worth the hard work), I was off on my adventure to Australia for Year 2, Semester 1.
My first day at USyd, I was in awe. The campus was huge, with architecture that was a combination of quirky, modern buildings and historic, heritage representations – just like the quadrangle in the picture below. The modules I undertook equipped me with lab skills that would not normally be offered at UoM. But, as a UoM student, I also had skills that were useful in the lab that the local USyd students did not have. This way, students and I could transfer skills between each other. As an exchange student, you must pick your own modules at the partner university, luckily, Sydney offered me an amazing opportunity to undertake an internship! I could replace one of my modules with an internship of my choice – with the permission from Manchester – and it was accredited in my degree!
Interning at the Faculty of Health Sciences
I secured a place as a Marketing Intern in the University of Sydney in the Faculty of Health Sciences. This has probably been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Not only did I get to experience the Australian working culture, but the hands-on experience meant that my future employability was boosted by exposure to the professional environment.
As a marketing intern, each day was different to the previous one. This meant that every day I had the opportunity to learn something new. Throughout my internship, I was taught how to use different programming software, such as Adobe and Java. This is not something that would normally be incorporated into my degree. Employers across all industries seek individuals who are proficient in IT skills and are familiar with such software. Not only did this build on my employability skills, but it also revealed my interest in updating websites, creating/editing images and conducting general marketing material.
Working with writers and editors to influence publishing material that was done by the academic staff within the faculty meant that I also got to build on my writing skills. This has become extremely useful for me, again not only with employability, but with my academic coursework . Organisation was another skill that I developed during the internship. Balancing and prioritising jobs for completion within the internship, as well as externally balancing it with academic studies meant I had to constantly stay on top of things. This really helped me highlight the techniques which best worked for me to manage the workload.
Working within the University itself had its benefits. The Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Sydney is globally recognised for contributing research and education in its field of sciences. In addition, as the office was based within the uni itself, it meant that I could work after my classes and didn’t have to travel far at all and saved me a lot of time.
Uni wasn’t always just studies; hello, I was in Australia!! During my spare time, I travelled A LOT.Being in Sydney doesn’t mean I couldn’t travel the rest of Australia, I was ready for the big adventure!
During Spring Break – which is September/October in Australian terms -, the Great Barrier Reef is the ultimate holiday destination for students. The most incredible holiday of my lifetime was spent island hopping around the Whitsunday Islands, visiting Whitehaven Beach which is voted the best beach in the world, and snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef!
I miss my time in Australia and I would do it all over again. I highly recommend the experience for the self development, learning and the adventure obviously. Work hard, study hard, and travel hard!