Skip to content

Sustainability Summer School in the UK – Olivia Webb

My name is Olivia and I study Environmental Engineering and Chemistry at the University of Adelaide. At high school I loved maths and science, so I studied Math Methods, Specialist Maths, Chemistry and Physics in year 12. I’ve always had a passion for geography and the environment as well, so Environmental Engineering seemed to call my name. 

In July this year, I had the opportunity to attend the International Summer School Program at the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom. I’d never been to Europe or travelled by myself before so it was definitely a learning experience. Travelling to the UK seemed like a nice way to ease myself into solo international travel as there wouldn’t be a language barrier and there would be someone to meet me on the other side. Whilst my journey wasn’t as smooth as a I’d hoped (my flight was cancelled in Sydney 🙁 ), it was a great feeling knowing I was doing it by myself!

The University of Exeter is located on the south coast of the UK but the location wasn’t a major draw for me. It was the program structure. The International Summer School was completely for international students from all over the world. I met people from Germany, USA, Switzerland, Korea and many more! The program also included a 4 day stay in London to sightsee and get to know other people on the trip. In London we visited all the major sights like Big Ben, Buckingham Palace and Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, but there was also the opportunity to explore and attend things like the Warner Brother’s Harry Potter Studio Tour which was AMAZING!

Once we finished in London we split into course groups. There were around 10 different courses running whilst I was there from Victorian Literature to Preventative Medicine. I took the Sustainability Program. As part of this, a group of 6 of us travel to the University’s second campus in Penryn, Cornwall. There we had class for four hours each day and stayed in the on-campus housing in a flat together. We were responsible for our own food and went grocery shopping together or caught the bus into the town centre to try one of the local restaurants. 

Overall, I really enjoyed this experience. I learnt a lot about other cultures from around the world and gained confidence in travelling by myself! I would highly recommend this experience to anyone new to travelling or looking for a short overseas experience.

About Olivia: Olivia studies Environmental Engineering and Chemistry. She has a passion for sustainable practices and is kind of obsessed with the Circular Economy. In her spare time, Olivia loves to play sport, read (with tea or hot chocolate in hand!) and hang out with her friends.