Chiara studied MSc Economics at Exeter and then spent a semester at the University of Porto, FEP School of Economics & Management. She has just finished her internship back here at Exeter working as a research assistant. Here are her top tips if you are thinking about applying for the QTEM programme:
When you apply to the QTEM programme, you should already imagine yourself being accepted: Where would you go and why? Which classes would you like to take? It is not necessary to plan everything in detail, but you should write your motivation letter with a vision in mind.
When it comes to submitting your five choices for the host university, you should make clear what your priorities are: is it location (you’ll get to experience living in another country), reputation of the university, the module options? It is important to consider all relevant factors when making a decision and choose according to the importance of each.
After being allocated to a university, it is important that you do your research and get an overview over the paperwork that you are required to do and the deadlines – also, don’t hesitate to contact people from the host university if you have any of doubts.
When you know where you are going, try and get an idea of the housing situation. You cannot always rely on being accepted for university accommodation, so check out the links that the university provides and just ask Google – it is very helpful to get an impression on how people usually find rooms over there (like, booking a hostel for the first few days and then look for a room or look online – also, are rooms usually posted in advance or more short-notice)
It is great that you are very free to choose the classes you take – but be considerate about it! Choose the classes that you will like, but make sure you keep a focus (think about what you want to specialise in) and also be realistic about the time and effort it will take. Taking only very hard classes will allow you to expand your knowledge, but ideally, you will also want time to experience the country and culture.
If your home or host university organises meetings for QTEM students, attend! It is great to meet not only people from various backgrounds, but also exchange your personal QTEM experiences. As the programme is so flexible, everyone has a different curriculum and it is exciting to hear about other people’s choices and experiences.
Fixing an internship early will help you enjoy your exchange more and be a relief when the exam period hits. As the internship is supposed to start after the exchange term, I would recommend looking for internships fairly early (ideally shortly after arriving at your host university), so that you know where you will be going after the QTEM semester. This will also make organisation much easier, as you will probably have moved out of your room in Exeter when starting the QTEM semester and having an internship early will let you avoid long periods without a fixed place to be.
The most special thing I experienced on the QTEM programme is that it allows you to form your own curriculum. You will be fixed in your time in Exeter, but beyond that you can choose not only where to go, but also what to study. Take advantage of that, go to the country you’ve always wanted to go to and select the modules that you will enjoy, and that will enhance your employability!
Exeter is proud to be a member of the QTEM network which gives our Postgraduate students on certain programmes* the chance to take part in a quantitatively focused QTEM programme. involving an additional semester abroad and an academic partner university combined with a 200 hour internship. When completed student graduate with the QTEM certificate demonstrating their skills in analytical and quantitative techniques.
*Due to the quantitative nature of QTEM, only students studying MSc Financial Analysis and Fund Management, MSc Finance and Investment, MSc Economics, MSc Economics and Econometrics, MSc Financial Economics are eligible. See our website for more information on QTEM.