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Amy is being supported by Eccles Rotary and on her return to this country in August she came to visit us and tell us about her trip. Here is her story, in her opwn words.
"During February I made the move to Melbourne, ready to start my study abroad semester at Deakin University. I was extremely excited and nervous at the same time as I was going to be starting a new life and living away from home for 6 months.
In the first few weeks I started to settle in and meet all of the other exchange students who were in the same boat as me. This made me relax and enjoy the opportunity that I had been given. I also met other domestic students and started to make friends.
However, around a month in the global pandemic hit and my experience was completely changed. It was the first week of university and lessons went ahead as usual, outlining the learning we would be doing throughout the semester. But within the following week all lessons went online and the new way of life kicked in.
Despite the massive change of living and learning, I managed to still enjoy my days as much as possible. Still being able to travel around Melbourne with friends and see some of the prettiest places I have ever seen helped me do this.
Soon after this, around the middle of April, myself and two friends (who were also exchange students) moved out of the on-campus accommodation and into an AirBnB. This meant that we were able to save money and travel around more, getting the best out of our time that we could.
Moving out was the best decision we made and we loved having our own house to live in enabling us to travel around Victoria, seeing the Grampians, the great ocean road and Wilsons Prom to name a few.
Whilst living in the house all learning and assessments were online, the house was sometimes very quiet with us all concentrating on our studies and trying our best to overcome the struggles we were facing. Studying online was a completely different experience, with its pros and cons. Yet, I completed all of my studies and passed with flying colours! I was very glad that my grades reflected the work I had put in over the term.
Prior to our studies we moved to Sydney and became travellers. Myself and one of the girls I lived with travelled around New South Wales and Queensland for a month's time, seeing some amazing sights and enjoying incredible activities!
During my travels I met more students, farm workers and general backpackers who were all managing to travel and live their best life, despite being in the middle of a pandemic, just like me.
Overall, my time in Australia was a mixture of emotions. I had the best time I could have possibly had. Even though Covid-19 hit, it did not ruin my study abroad term and I could have not asked for a better time or to meet better people!
I would also like to thank the Rotary Club for helping with my funding and supporting me along the way! I am very appreciative of everything."