As the weeks draw closer to my departure from the UK for a year, I’m getting more excited about my first lone adventure abroad (hopefully I can pass all my exams to properly confirm it first)!
This is a topic that I have been passionate about expressing since I was about 16, when I realised I wanted to go to abroad during my time at higher education, and also aspired to be a neuropsychologist. However, a lot of people find uncertainty in spending a year away, and rightly so. It can be quite daunting (think reliving your first day at school/college/uni all over again), and can be more costly in some places than others. However, our lovely study abroad programme takes these issues into consideration, and gives study abroad candidates the support (mentally and financially) required before embarking in this big move. However, if you want more of a student opinion you’ve definitely come to the right place!
Here are some great advantages of any study abroad programme, and why you should seriously consider making your third year one of the most culturally enriching and enjoyable years of university:
1. Valuable life experience
This one comes as a no-brainer, as you are independently driving yourself to undergo this wonderful opportunity. It gives you so many skills both before you go, such as organisation when booking flights and filling out Visa forms, or the confidence to have an interview with a particular embassy official – and also when you are there (i.e. independence, transferring relevant skills dependent on exchange country). Another component of life experience also depends on the people you meet along the way, and I guarantee that going abroad can only ever enhance the way you see the world around you, and your open-mindedness to try new things and accept the native’s way of life.
2. You can stand out from the crowd (not just academically)
Going abroad also gives you lots of opportunity to be unique, and unlike 80% of your 3-year degree peers. Studying abroad can show a future employer how you handle real life situations independently, are committed to education (as you are spending an additional year to learn more about your degree), and having the confidence to seek out new/challenging adventures. As a result, you will have more transferable skills AND an advantageous position over peers. Also, when you eventually come back home it gives you something to be proud of, as well as sharing memories of adventures with your friends and family!
3. It’s more than just a holiday
In my opinion, study abroad years give you far more knowledge of the place you live than any holiday would. Meeting new people and experiencing new things is a daily treat abroad, as you are far from UK traditions there. The chance to learn more, see more, and appreciate more is in your hands. No matter where you are, you gain cultural awareness from your exchange institute, and when coming back home you may even have culture shock from how different it is! That’s why I find this such a valuable opportunity for those who wish to take it.
To me, this is more than a place where I can live and study, it is in itself a cultural experience that individuals can flourish academically and personally. Going to Victoria next year may not be a walk in the park, but the experiences I will gain will no doubt allow this year to be the best it can be!
Goodbye for now.x