Zoe Goes Global

Image of Zoe at the airport

Zoe Goes Global

How exciting, daunting and a little scary.

I am about to embark on a new and exciting adventure of going on an Outbound Exchange Program and thought I may learn something along the way that might also help you.  I hope to document my journey; successes, failures, pitfalls, advice, fun, tears and anything I think might be helpful along the way.

I am sure as a mature age student my experience will be different from the younger of you.  Maybe a little less partying and a little more site seeing.  But who knows, I might just rediscover my youth – I hope so!!

Here’s the first in my series of posts on my going global experience.

Decision time

Many times the offer of studying overseas had been in my inbox, and many times I had just deleted it without a moment’s thought.  So what was different this time?  What made me retrieve this last one from my email trash?

I was far enough through my 3 year Bachelor of Accounting degree to feel confident about changing universities.  My children were all grown up and independent now.  I have never travelled.  At 54 opportunities like this do not come up very often (the most I could hope for is 4 weeks annual leave to go exploring places around the world).  My older children have travelled and encouraged me to take the challenge.

So many questions:  Where in the world to go?  Will I have enough money?  Will the semesters clash?    How long will I be away?  Are you sure I will still get my Centrelink Austudy payment?  Who will look after my place and pets?  Will my husband and family support this?   Eeeeek!

The UK seemed an appropriate choice.   English speaking like myself and the same generally accepted accounting principles.  I had also just discovered that I have older siblings there from my father’s first marriage that I can meet for the first time, bonus.  My husband is from England and still has relatives living there.  First question answered.  So, University of Bradford School of Management (UBSM) here I come.

Emails, phone calls, and discussions soon answered all my other questions.  UK semester 1 runs over CQU semesters 2 and 3 – cool, and runs for 4 ½ months (might even get my first white Christmas).  Phone call to Centerlink – yes, payments will continue.  Found a house-sitter for the 3 dogs and 2 cows.  Husband and family very excited for me.

Application process

Subject selection proved to be the most time consuming, and at times can be a frustrating part of the process.  Fortunately, as I will be starting year three of my degree, most of my subjects were electives giving me far greater flexibility and choice.

I started with trying to find comparable UBSM subjects, which proved tricky as they didn’t have an online handbook with full descriptors like we have at CQUniversity.  So I emailed UBSM with my selected subject titles for more information.  The helpful staff were quick to respond and usually within 24 hours.  In the end, I selected six similar subjects instead of four, which had to be approved by CQUniversity to allow for UBSM clashes in timetabling, dropped subjects, or meeting subject prerequisites.

My advice – start early!!  Get your preferences in early, as some subjects may not be accepted and more subjects may need to be found. CQU program advisors are flat-out with the beginning of a new year with new students taking priority.  And not all university handbooks are user friendly.

I am really looking forward to starting my exchange program at UBSM and hope you will get some tips and inspiration if you’re thinking of doing the same!

For more information on how you can complete part of your degree overseas and do some travel at the same time, visit the CQUGlobal Outbound Exchange webpage.