From possums to squirrels… Laura Gillespie, Monash University, Melbourne.

My name is Laura, and I’m an Associate student studying International Relations and English at Queen Mary this semester.  I’ve traveled all the way from Monash University in Melbourne, which has been a surreal but fantastic experience! I’ve gone from 40 degree days to 2 degree days, traded in possums for some very cute squirrels, and have had to adjust to a time difference of 11 hours! I’m now very excited to begin seeing more of London.

Queen Mary has been very welcoming, with lovely staff, great orientation events, and many interesting Student Union clubs to join. I have enjoyed learning more about British culture in a pub quiz, doing a walking tour around East London, and meeting other international students in the speed friending event.  My subjects have been fascinating, and it has been amazing to see attractions like Buckingham Palace and the Sky Garden which are so close by. East London, where Queen Mary is based, is a very diverse and exciting community!

While I am extremely excited to be studying in London, there have also been times where I’ve missed my family and friends. For anyone experiencing this, I’d definitely recommend staying in regular contact with people back home while also getting involved in as many orientation events as possible. These allow you to meet new people while exploring the sights of London! There is plenty of support on campus, such as the advice and counselling service and the great Global Opportunities team.

Looking forward to a fantastic semester 😊

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