With the placement application season commencing, it is the perfect time to consider the opportunity of taking a semester or a year of study abroad as part of your educational journey. The concept of travelling abroad to study has captivated curious minds since time immemorial and continues to be an aspiration for many. If you are someone who is currently deciding what they might like to do for the placement portion of their university degree or your high school offers the opportunity to do an exchange this could be a positional option for you to consider.
Here are five reasons why studying abroad is a good idea:
Experience a different culture
From the moment you arrive in your host country, you will be struck by cultural differences. That is an inspiring experience. Not only will you begin to develop intercultural skills but you will also get a taste for a different way of living life. If your destination is similar to your home country the differences may be more subtle and if your host country is vastly different then there might be some shocking differences that may take some getting used to. However, regardless of how much your new home differs, there will be no limit to what you can learn from there!
Meet new people
The sheer number of people that I have met since travelling to Australia has truly been astounding. I have encountered people from many various walks of life. This has given me the chance to witness perspectives that differ from my own on an even larger scale than I already have at university. A breadth of perspectives can help to develop the ability to broaden your empathetic understanding of people and their actions in various situations. Meeting a lot of new people also has the benefit of encountering people that are interested in things that you have an interest in that you may not have access to at your home university or school.
Moving to a foreign country is without a doubt a difficult endeavour. The various difficulties of visa applications, finding accommodation, and adjusting to a new culture are just a few of the many tribulations you may have to face. That said, these challenges are great ways in which you will strengthen your ability to persevere and overcome them. Emerging on the other side of a problem means that you may have had to come up with creative solutions or collaborate with others to succeed, both skills which are incredibly valuable in many different areas of life.
Enhance your education
Studying at another educational institution means that you will experience different teaching styles, educational content and extracurriculars. There will often be an array of modules available at your exchange school that you can take that may not be available at your home institution. This means that any interests related to or not related to your current course of study can be explored. The knowledge taught at your exchange school could allow you to build on what you have learned so far and develop academic skills in new and interesting ways.
Make unforgettable memories
The memories that you will make will last a lifetime. The past few months that I have been on my study abroad exchange have provided me with a multitude of experiences that I can now carry with me for the rest of my life! From the friends that you will make, to the adventures you will have, studying abroad brings it all together to form some of the most exhilarating times. If you want to get out there and try something completely different then that is a good indication that this is a choice that you should make.
Written by: Siobhan Douglas