This is for anyone who is about to go on an exchange abroad, or who is thinking about it, to find out what you might expect from the experience.
- It will be exciting at times and it will be scary at times. Through all of it, the time you have is only temporary so make the most of the exciting moments and don’t worry too much about the scary ones.
- There will be boring days, not everything will be exciting, you will get into a routine, and the study abroad experience will become ‘life’ for a while.
- When you get back after the year, give yourself some time to relax at home. You might not be able to process all that has happened, but you will appreciate the space to sit and just be.
- You won’t enjoy everything about it. There will always be bits that you wish were different, or things that you don’t want to do.
- You’ll gain a new appreciation for the experiences you’ve grown up with and for British culture.
- You’ll gain a new appreciation for what new experiences and different cultures can teach you, and how some things that you have always known can be viewed differently.
- Travelling is fun. It is also tiring, and stressful, and boring at times. But it is worth it.
- You’ll meet a lot of different people from a lot of different places. An awareness for other people and cultures will stay with you even after returning from abroad.
- You will make mistakes, whether it’s cultural blunders or forgetting to buy a travel visa (yep, I did this), it’s all a part of what makes studying abroad what it is.
Most important to realise is that studying abroad is a fantastic opportunity to grow and learn new skills that are hard to find anywhere else. It’s a great chance to make new international friends and to realise how big the world really is.
I would recommend anyone to live abroad for a while, it is an eye opening experience.
[Semester 1 where me and my friends from Germany, America, and France all went to see Bohemian Rhapsody at the local cinema.]