Although I will never recommend anything more than doing a year abroad (if you haven’t hit up the Go Global office, do so), there is always extraneous pressure to really make this year “the best of your life”. As much as this is the main goal of being abroad, there is a difference between the wanderlust you feel of a two-week holiday, and the daily grind of a working week – even in a different country.
Much like older adults look back at their school days with the notion that it was ‘the best years of their lives’, someday we may look at university with this same lens. This is even more likely if you study abroad, as the different experiences and way of life will no doubt resonate with you for life. However, while you see everyone else during their year abroad trying out new things and travelling to new places, this can make you feel like you need to do the same. But, no matter how many cool things are available around your part of the world, factors such as health, finances and time can affect these plans. With a limited time frame and the social pressure from others, this can seem detrimental to your time away from home.
Well, as somebody who had to deal with not being able to visit EVERYWHERE I wanted to go last semester, this definitely doesn’t mean that I haven’t enjoyed myself and seen and experienced so many things that I never though I would have! I’m going to jam pack as many cool things to do into this semester, of course, but getting everything done is not as much of a priority as I previously thought. This is because daily life cannot be predicted.
Going back to the example I mentioned earlier – within a holiday, this is time solely focused on exploring and relaxing, so getting things that you want to do to be done is a lot easier. On the other hand, study abroad has two components to it: study + abroad. Sometimes, the studying part can be tiresome (as we all know during this exam period) so doing leisurely activities is harder or more strenuous – therefore, less enjoyable.
Nonetheless, the point of studying abroad is NOT to beat people to any ‘I’ve travelled more than you’ game. It’s about your own personal experience, whatever that may be. If you wanna do something during a study abroad year, do it! It may be your only chance to, so seize the opportunities while you can (and are able to in a way that makes you secure and happy).
If you’ve thought about travelling abroad, while at Swansea Uni, have a look at the opportunities available:
Til next time! x