University Impossible: Part 3

Alright, the uni year is now finished (and after less than half a year!) but now you’ve got to find some way to cope during the summer. Now, I’m not going to lie, I spent this past summer on my tush most of the time watching TV and, despite the grief my mum gave me for it, I enjoyed it. I suppose that would be my first tip, make sure whatever you do with your summer is something you enjoy. It’s never nice to be bored most of the time and as long as you’re doing something you enjoy you shouldn’t be that bored.

If you can, it’s always a good idea to try and get work experience relevant to whatever course you are doing. As far as I know, most courses don’t recommend that you take an experience/placement job in the summer until you’ve finished at least 2nd year and some courses don’t recommend it until after you’ve finished 3rd year. Sometimes they may suggest you take a year in placement and will suggest that it won’t affect your uni work. In reality though, everyone I know that has taken a year in placement has actually had to go to their placement every day instead of to uni which means they miss out on all the work and so have to do the year that they’ve missed once they have finished the year long placement. That means they’ve ended up graduating the year after the people they started uni with. I’m not saying you shouldn’t go for a big block of work experience but take the whole summer to do it then. It’s always good to get as much experience as possible, don’t get me wrong, but ask yourself if it’s really worth sacrificing a year’s worth of uni work for a year’s placement.

When you go back to uni you might be given information about the possibility of spending a semester in another country like the US, Canada or Australia. You may be given information about which universities will offer modules relevant to the course you’re currently studying and you’ll probably be told it’s more experience for you. Now, exchange programmes are always an amazing opportunity. If you can afford to go that is. My university offered us the chance to go to the US next semester this year. It sounded amazing until I started looking into it. I don’t know about other universities but I know the only thing my university would cover was tuition fees for the semester. I would have had to pay for visa application and travel to the interview, return plane tickets, spending money, accommodation costs and transport to and from accommodation along with money for food and drink on a daily basis. Not only that, you needed to have “sufficient funds” in your bank account before you go (i.e. >£4000) and when I went through it all and calculated the cost of spending a semester in Boston, not including the sufficient funds, came to just over £7000. Not that many people will be able to afford this much because including the sufficient funds you’d need a “spare” £11k. So, amazing opportunity but also extremely expensive.

When it comes to getting ready to go back to uni I’d recommend going over any notes you have fro the year before just to refresh your brain before getting in to it all again. One major tip, keep all the coursework you do even from first year because if it ever comes to it, the uni will go through all your coursework from first in if you need to appeal your final degree classification in 4th year. If you’re going into your last year and you haven’t been saving now is the time to start. Fast. Graduation is probably going to be almost twice as expensive as prom, if not more. You have to pay to rent the gown and hat, for the graduation ball ticket and gown and any other expenses I can’t think of off the top of my head right now.

Alright, well that concludes my University Impossible trilogy so I hope everyone enjoyed it.

AV

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