Michael Dowds

4th year

Michael, from England, travelled to the Shanghai University of Finance and Economics in China for a year as part of the Exchange programme.  He is studying International Business Management in the School of Social Sciences. Michael is based at the Edinburgh Campus.

Why did you decide to take part in a global student programme at Heriot-Watt?

The idea of studying abroad for a year has always been an exciting prospect for me as I have always enjoyed travelling and experiencing new cultures. Furthermore, I knew that having the fact that I studied abroad for a year would help my CV stand out when I begin my job applications.

What were the highlights from your global student experience?

The particular highlight from my experience of my year abroad was my ability to travel throughout China and South East Asia. The power of the British pound over the Chinese rmb made my student loan go a lot further, enabling me to take advantage of all of the opportunities and experiences that China had to offer.

Was there anything that you found challenging about studying in your exchange country?

The main challenge that I had during my time abroad was the fact that I couldn't be home for Christmas and New Year's Eve.  This was due to the cultural differences (the Chinese don't celebrate Christmas and have their own New Year) resulting in our term not finishing until the 4th of January.

Do you keep in touch with anyone that you met during your exchange?

Due to all of the exchange students being in the same boat regarding not being able to be home for the Christmas holidays, we all became very close. I still keep in close contact with many of my friends from my time abroad resulting in me having several places to stay should I ever want to travel Europe, America and Australia.