Kajol visiting Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Park

For as long as I can remember, I have always wanted to go to Australia. In my opinion, Australia is a health and fitness orientated country. As an Exercise, Health and Nutrition student, I am very passionate about keeping healthy, and I was very excited to be given the opportunity to study abroad in Australia. Once I applied, everything seemed to fit perfectly, with the modules on offer matching with my course. ​

I have just completed my first semester at the Australian Catholic University's (ACU) Melbourne Fitzroy campus, and will be doing my second semester at the ACU's Sydney campus, to experience life in another major cosmopolitan city. I am studying in Australia for one academic year, which honestly just doesn't seem long enough! Australia has proved to be everything I thought it would be and more. I will be returning to Leeds to complete my fourth and final year of study, and I will be graduating with an international degree.

I like to have a routine, and my typical day consists of waking up at around 7.30am, showering and having breakfast, and then I travel by tram to get to university. After my lectures and tutorials, I tend to go to the gym on campus, have lunch, and then get the tram back home. Once home, I shower, FaceTime my family, eat dinner and spend the evening with my friends.
Being in a country on my own was overwhelming at first, and definitely tested my problem-solving skills and my ability to adapt to diverse situations. But, getting past this and settling in Melbourne has motivated me to push myself, explore new places and meet people from all around the world.
I have enjoyed adapting to the new environment and immersing myself in a different culture. My new favourite food is pork dumplings! I have built confidence in myself by stepping out of my comfort zone and not being afraid to try new things. Studying abroad has helped me discover myself as a person whilst gaining an understanding and an appreciation of a different culture. Studying abroad has also improved my communication and leadership skills, and I understand who I am as a person. All in all, I have grown as an individual and seen a different part of the world – what else could I possibly ask for?

If you're thinking about studying abroad, do it!! It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that can really give you direction for your future life after university. Don't be scared about being alone or getting lost – I have made such good friends from all over the world that I will keep in contact with for the rest of my life. It really opened my eyes and I'm sure it will for you too!

Exercise, Health and Nutrition undergraduate Kajol Kotecha travelled to Australia as the first Leeds Trinity student to study abroad for a full year. All students can take part in short-term study abroad programmes, a semseter abroad during their second year, or a year-long programme in third year. Find out more about Study Abroad at Leeds Trinity and see if you're eligible for funding through our Inspiring Futures Programme​.

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