Returned Student Stories

Returned Student Stories

Erica Spain Image 1


Erica Spain spent 6 months studying her Bachelor of Science (Environmental & Marine Geoscience) at the University of Dundee in Scotland. It was the opportunity to broaden her academic experience and explore a new culture which drew Erica to Scotland. “Academically, I wanted to be exposed to varying topics and themes not studied in Australia (glaciers and relatively recent geological events). Culturally, I hoped to gain a 'Northern' perspective on geological science and sustainability. I chose Scotland for its immense history, its desolate highlands and its geological diversity.”

For students who are not sure if exchange is for them, Erica offers this advice. “The daunting prospect of moving to another country, to endear yourself to a whole new group of friends, perhaps having to learn a new language, all pale in comparison to the experiences you will have and the friendships you will make. Leaving your comfort zone can be difficult, however it may surprise you how resourceful and independent you can be when left up to your own devices. You might be leaving the ease of an established group of friends but you will find that you’ll miss out on less things than you thought and experience a whole lot more than you planned for.”

“Learning how to interact with academics and scientists from all different levels and departments is a necessary skill for a science student (for any student) and this contact provided me with the necessary practice. One of my Scottish professors is now one of my academic referees, who I utilise when applying for graduate programs or jobs. Making contacts while in senior uni years is important for job prospects later and having a variety of academics is viewed highly.”

“The best advice I've ever been given was "Pack half as much as you think you'll need and take twice as much money". Also make sure you have extra to travel around Scotland and to Europe as it's so close and brilliant and sometimes random adventures come up which you don't budget for.”