Hi, my name is Shannon Pash, and I have been studying at Flinders Uni for two and a half years.
I have lived in the Onkaparinga region of South Australia all my life and work at the local bakery, which is about five minutes walk away from my house. I still live with my parents, but we get along so well that it does not bother me.
Also, I am a massive History nerd, I play the bagpipes, love my friends and family, and spend most of the summer at the beach.
I went straight into Uni from high school, studying International Studies. I major in History and minor in International Relations.
Studying has had its ups and downs; partway through my first year, I felt like I had had enough, and was considering chucking it in.
Thankfully I stuck with it, mainly because I am stubborn and I do not like the feeling that something has beaten me. Now I love it; I even get bored in the holidays without an essay to worry about!
One of the main reasons I am glad I kept at it is the chance to go on exchange. I have always wanted the chance to travel, and I have been saving up to study overseas since early high school. Travel has always appealed to me, and the idea of being a part of another society is highly attractive. An exchange allows you to do both of these things whilst you continue to work towards completing your degree.
My main passion is modern European History. I wanted to have the chance to study this at close quarters and visit the sights of some of the major events.
Because of this, I decided to do my exchange to England. It is close to the greater European continent, and they speak the same language!
This also has the bonus for me of being where one of my cousins lives. I will be staying with her and her husband and can use their apartment as a base whilst I travel around the region.
The Uni that I am going to is called the Royal Holloway. It’s a University of London and so allows me access to the libraries of all of the other Unis in that institution. I will be there for their Autumn semester, which runs from September to December. I intend to spend some time travelling on either side of the term so that I can really get a taste of European life.
The application process for the exchange has been a long and, at times, frustrating venture.
There are so many different forms to complete and requirements to fill that it can start to feel like an impossible task. But, at the end of the day, these are all in place to make sure you are fully prepared for the exchange.
The most important thing has been to keep at it and to not be afraid to ask questions. Everyone from the people at Flinders and the Royal Holloway to the staff at the British Embassy have been more than willing to go out of their way to provide help at every step of the way. Now that my trip is looming so near, I really know that it is all going to be worth it.
I leave Australia on August 19th and am going to start my trip by getting used to life in London and doing a tour of Scotland.
At the moment I’m furiously running around
- Making sure I have filled all of the visa requirements,
- Cancelling my phone plan,
- Arranging my banking for while I am overseas,
- Getting travel insurance,
- Looking up tours
- And buying warmer clothes appropriate for the climate.
I have downloaded Skype because it is going to be the cheapest and easiest way to keep in contact with everyone at home.
Until my next blog, I will be madly packing, re-packing and generally getting very nervous and excited.