UQ Abroad is The University of Queensland’s student exchange program, which allows students to study overseas for up to one year while gaining credit towards their UQ degrees.

Most UQ students who go on exchange receive financial assistance in the form of grants, loans or scholarships.

One such student is Cara Nolan, who spent a year at the University of Edinburgh, where she took courses towards her Bachelor of Science/Diploma of Global Issues.

Cara, who is majoring in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, took a range of courses in Scotland, but says her exchange was not all about her studies.

“One of my biggest tips for people coming to the University of Edinburgh is to make the most of the student societies,” said Cara.

“I brought my violin with me, and joined the Folk Society where I played casual jam sessions, often in pubs, went on tour, and played in a band for Ceilidhs (traditional Scottish dances).

“Freshsight is another great society; it’s a consultancy group where students work in groups together with non-profit organisations to develop business solutions.”

Through Freshsight, Cara worked on two valuable projects with Social Firms Scotland, and Scottish Wildlife Trust, and met with consulting firms like Ernst and Young and KPMG.

Cara also joined the orienteering, hillwalking and running clubs, and completed her first half-marathon.

Cara said that since returning to UQ in semester 2 2013, she realised that its academic standards are very high.

“I think that my exchange has already made my science education a more rounded experience,” said Cara.

One of the courses that Cara took on her return to UQ was BIOC3003: Human Molecular Genetics & Diseases.

The course coordinator, who is Head of the School of Chemistry & Molecular Biosciences, Professor Melissa Brown, said that going on exchange is an outstanding opportunity.

“International exchanges provide enormous opportunity to add value to your tertiary education, expand your career prospects and have fun,” said Professor Brown.

“Science graduates compete for employment in a global marketplace, so job applicants who have studied internationally have an edge,” she said.

UQ students can apply now to study in one of 175 partner universities in 39 countries.

The deadline to apply to go on exchange in semester 1 2015 is 31 May 2014, and many students find that the best time to apply is in their second semester at UQ.

Details, including eligibility criteria, are at uq.edu.au/uqabroad.

 

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