Alex Thorpe

Date: SP5, 2014
Degree Program: Bachelor of Psychological Science
Host University: Oklahoma State University
Host Country: USA

Why did you choose your host university?

Because I wanted to attend a Div 1 college in America and I wanted a true American experience with true American culture, nothing anything remotely similar to Australia.

Student Alex Thorpe - USAWhat was the university like?

Classes are more like high school, which is better, I feel you learn more. Assignments and homework are more regular but far smaller in size than our assignments. There are incredible resources if you’re struggling (you won’t be) or want people to study with or really for anything you need.

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

I’ve gained an unexplainable amount from my exchange, it’s a life changing experience. It will change your outlook on life; your views on people, cultures, just everything really, it teaches you to live.

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

There’s plenty of accommodation available. You can live in a shared dorm room, a single room, a two or three bedroom apartment, and all of them are similar prices and very affordable.

Student Alex Thorpe - USADescribe your travel experiences; did you travel locally or to neighbouring countries? 

Texas is so close, you’ll definitely make multiple trips down there. I think I was down there 3 or 4 times.

I also bussed around a few places. Mississippi, Tennessee, Louisiana (New Orleans), Alabama are all relatively close to the east, that’s where I did most of my travelling. Colorado and Kansas are close as well. I flew to Florida and to California as well to stay with some friends and do some touristy stuff.

Student Alex Thorpe - USADescribe how you adjusted to life in a different country and how you met new people.

Wow is life in Oklahoma Country, it’s weird at first but you’ll grow to love it. Country Music/Dancing, Cowboys going to class, it’s really something. But all the same it’s your classic college experience, Frats and Sororities, Football Games, Homecoming, it’s like something out of a movie. You just go with the flow to adjust, do things with your friends and you’ll find yourself become more and more of a college kid. You meet people around campus, in classes, around the volleyball courts, at parties, you just have to put yourself out there; even if you don’t you’ll have some great friends in the other exchange students.

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

I mean, it’ll probably make me look more well-rounded and adventurous, which no doubt will help. But I’ve made a tonne of new connections as well that will help for sure. Oh, and I know how to ride a horse now!

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

Do it! It doesn’t matter where you go, if it’s your first preference or your last, just go! This was the best experiences of my life and I’ve travelled and adventured and had a lot of good times. You can’t jump into a society surrounded by people your age all having fun and living life like this at any other time so, do it!

Top Tips:

Put yourself out there. When I went there, I had a yes rule and it was the best decision I made, I said yes to anything I was invited to, no matter how tired or rundown I was and without it, I wouldn’t of met half the people I did or experience half of the experiences I did.                      

Areas of study and research

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