Firstly, my name is Peter Andrew and I’m on exchange in Vienna, Austria completing double Maters degrees; Masters of Business Administration (MBA, UTS) and a Masters of Strategy, Innovation & Management Control (SIMC, WU). That’s a mouth full!
Exchange is quite simply an amazing experience. So much so that this is my second exchange experience through UTS. I completed a year abroad in Bologna, Italy as part of my undergraduate degrees (b business and b arts in international studies).
As this is my second exchange I wanted to use this space to draw from my experiences and explain why I love studying abroad so much:
1) People. I appreciate this aspect so much more now that I am doing my masters. Studying overseas allows you to build a tight knit global network. I am extremely fortunate to be able to say that I have made amazing friends from all over the world. I know this sounds cliché, but it true. Just the other day I was on a call with people I have met on exchange from New York, Milan and Vienna discussing a current business project I am working on!
2) Culture & Experience. As special as Australia is, there is so much more to experience around the world. I also find that being on exchange puts you in a position to put yourself “out there” more, taking more [sensible] risks and opening yourself up new and exciting things. An example of this is from my current exchange, I am in the process of launching an Austrian based business with some locals I’ve met through uni – stay tuned! Further to this, I have developed new passions form visiting various museums and historical sites that we don’t have in Australia.
3) Travel. This is one of the most exciting parts of exchange! One of the advantages of moving to the other side of the world is just that – being on the other side of the world! I am based in Europe, and it is SO easy, cheap and quick to visit places so foreign to me.
4) Career. To put it simply,employers love it when people have studied abroad. It shows initiative, a willingness to try new things, [sensible] risk taking and a general drive that others don’t display. Just yesterday I was reading a job advertisement that said “must display a willingness to live and travel abroad” – check!
5) Support. This is a biggie. Whilst studying abroad through UTS I have felt supported the entire way. Moving to another country is difficult for many reasons, UTS has helped facilitate this and made it almost effortless. Further to this UTS is so well regarded by overseas institutions and its students are so well respected that I have been so well received by teaching staff and other students that it almost like being welcomed by family!
Don’t get me wrong some parts of exchange are difficult, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. There are times when I am lonely, exhausted, defeated by bureaucracy, I feel stupid, homesick, the list goes on. But, in the words of Austrian Queen, Conchita Wurst, “I rise like a phoenix” and emerge stronger than ever. Would I change anything? Never! In fact, I look forward to doing my third exchange in my doctorate/s (sorry mum and dad!).
Name: Peter Andrew
UTS Student ID: 11040540
UTS Course Name: Master of Business Administration
Exchange Partner University: WU (Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien – Vienna University of Economics and Business)