Elliott Monfries

Date: SP2 2013
Degree Program: Bachelor of Marketing and Communications
Host University: Ryerson University
Host Country: Canada

Elliot Monfries student exchange photoWhy did you choose your host university?

My main purpose for choosing Ryerson University was that I really wanted to visit Canada as it was a country that I had never visited and was looking for colder weather also. I enjoy big cities and fast paced living, so Toronto, the countries largest city felt like the best place for me.

What was the university like?

My university in Toronto felt quite similar to UniSA. It was located in the heart of the city and was spread out over a few campuses with a new, updated feel that UniSA also posseses. Classes differed from UniSA instead of a 2 hour lecture, 1 hour tutorial. It would consist of a total 3 hour class, which although meant longer classes, it also meant less classes, allowing more leisure time to enjoy a new exciting city. Assessment again was very similar with similar teaching styles and structures.

What did you gain from your exchange experience and has it changed the way you think or altered your approach to life?

First and forth most I met some amazing people from all around the world that are now friends for life, along with the experience of living in a different country and learning the culture and way of life of a new place. 


What accommodation options were available to you?  How affordable was accommodation and would you recommend the same option to others?

I was lucky enough to find student accomidation in the heart of the downtown, walking distance to all of my classes. I hadent arranged any accommodation before I got to Toronto (which I wouldn’t recommend) which made it a little stressful when I got there, but in the end it worked out ok. I would however recommend student accommodation to anyone, it is a great way to meet people at a cheaper price than renting flats etc. 

Elliot Monfries student exchange photo 02

Describe your travel experiences; did you travel locally or to neighbouring countries? 

As I lived in the inner city I was able to walk to all of my classes, however public transport was very easy to get a handle on. With a consistant flow of trams and underground subway it was easy to get to places that were out of walking distance. I managed to do a little bit of travelling during the weekends and mid semester break, I took a 12 hour bus ride with some friends to Chicago and another 12 hour bus ride to new york, as well as a 2 hour bus ride to Niagara Falls. Weekends consisted of a very tradition North American college lifestyle, with dorm parties and basketball matches. 

Describe how you adjusted to life in a different country and how you met new people.

Hardest thing to adjust to when I first got there was the weather, moving from an Australian summer to Canadian winter took some getting used to. However, fortuatly Australia and Canada are similar in culture and the locals live a similar lifestyle which made it easy to make the transition. By being outgoing I met plenty of new people, Canadians and other exchange students from around the world. 

Can you see any benefits from this exchange to your future career?

The main benefits I feel will help me are the contacts I now have, it has always been my goal to work overseas and with international contacts, setting up overseas is now much easier. Also, I believe future employers will be impressed by seeing and exchange on the resume. It shows that you are not afraid to enter out of your comfort zone and take on new experiences.

What advice would you give to a student who was hesitant or considering joining the exchange program?

For me it was the greatest 5 months of my life, a chance to experience an adventure that without the program I would probably never have had the chance to do. The exchange program makes it easy for you to understand how to get around and how to met people which will improve the experience of your exchange.

Top Tips:

Be outgoing and friendly with your new classmates and don’t be afraid to ask for advice and directions.

Areas of study and research

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