Alice Persson, Nursing Programme, La Trobe University, Australia (In English)

My name is Alicia Persson and I have been studying my 5th semester of nursing in Australia. The semester was from early July to mid-November. Ever since I was in 9th grade in high school I wanted to study one semester abroad. I wanted to put myself out of my own comfort zone and see something new. Already in the 1styear of University studies in Jönköping i looked up the different options of partner Universities to choose from. I always talked about going to Australia but i would definitely be happy with whatever country and partner University that decided to accept me. At last, I decided, my hope was high and my excitement was over the moon. I was going to AUSTRALIA!

If you are sitting here thinking; I want to study abroad. You also have to think; i want to do paperwork! When you are in the middle of applying for visa, waiting for the partner University to reply to your questions, sending records of transcript back and forth, paying for the most expensive doctor appointment you will ever do in your life, writing your signature on thousands of different important papers AND doing a detectives' work to collect all of our vaccines information from when you were a kid, you also have to remember; it will all be worth it!

The courses i took at La Trobe University was Acute Illness, Chronic Illness, Indigenous Health and Health Priorities. I was very happy with this courses because I think they contained a lot of important and refreshing information that was both "old and new". Super interesting to learn about the difference in the prior to an acute and a chronic stage in the same illness/disease. In both the Acute- and Chronic course i had placement. They were 3 and 2 weeks long. As the name of the course reveals, it should have been one acute and one chronic placement. But due to the lack of placement spots i got two placements in Rehabilitation ward, one in the hospital and one at a health centre.

When Sandra and I arrived 2 weeks before school started it seemed like noone knew about us. We had a skype call with the one in charge for the international students from Sweden, because she was in Singapore. At last we randomly met a teacher from the school that showed us around and presented us to a few of the "important" staff at the school. The "welcome to Australia" could definitely be better!

I lived i Chisholm on La Trobe Campus. I choose to live there just because it's easier to meet other international students and get new friends. I applied on La Trobes website for accommodation and then i got an answer on my email, that i had a room in Chisholm when i arrived. I would have picked to live on campus again if i could, even though it was kind of expensive! I paid about 850AUS every month. A friend of mine rented an apartment, in the city, with 3 more students and they paid less each then i did on campus for an own room in a doorm...

Over all the prices is very similar to here in Sweden. Expensive!

I think my greatest improvement while living in Australia showed on my speaking skills in English. During the 6 months away from home I learned to express myself a lot more then i could when i arrived. I have learnt more words and when to use them and of course being a nurse/"nurse practitioner" in English! All the different words and expressions was definitely the hardest part in the beginning of the placement. But with a lot of help and support from good friends it was always okey to ask if i didn't understand.

As i wrote before, if i could, i would definitely do it again! I had the best time of my life and I wish it on every other person that take the chance to study abroad too. I will definitely recommend the experience!

I don't know if i have a specific best part of the whole 6 months... but i really enjoyed all the travelling; when my friends and family came "down" to me, a few weeks each, and we traveled around Australia and Melbourne where i lived. Also when we were about 10 international friends from chisholm that planned a trip together, to the east-coast, just over our spring break. Also the time in school when i had placement, it was fun and a whole other experience then placement at home in Sweden. Only one who have done the same trip as I did will ever understand how amazing it was!

Alicia Persson