Studying overseas has easily been one of the best decisions I’ve made throughout my university experience thus far! Whether it be a six month or one-year exchange, the places you’ll go and the people you’ll meet will astound you. And yes, it is true, it is LIFE CHANGING! You don’t want to be 30 and have regrets on having not taken all the opportunities your university had to offer.
Okay so you need some convincing do you? Here are some top-notch reasons on why you should seriously consider going on a student exchange before it is too late!
1. The ‘studying’ part of studying abroad is not as serious as you think
Though a lot of us take university seriously back home, you definitely won’t feel as stressed when you’re away. Instead of always being cooped up in the library, you’ll be experiencing the world. We all know that our studies are important, but when you’re given the option to experience the culture, learn the language or even just immerse yourself in the restaurant scene; learning about the world is just as important.
2. Worldly Possibilities
Living in Australia definitely can have its disadvantages…one of them being its limited proximity to other countries. By living in another country you’ll have the opportunity to explore and travel every weekend! With everything being so close this could be as simple as hopping on a one-hour flight and you’re over the border; compare that to your one-hour commute to university (feels for those of you who have to commute longer), just doesn’t seem right does it?
It’s time to start ticking your bucket list destinations off and by studying abroad there will be things to do left, right and centre! Don’t wait until you finish uni cause who knows…life could get in the way!
3. You’ll have a more worldly and cultured view
Now let’s get one thing straight; going to a destination for a vacation is significantly different to actually making a life in a foreign country. When you’re in a place for a long time you’ll be exposed to so many different cultures, languages and lifestyles it’ll be slightly overwhelming to start, but don’t worry over time you’ll get used to it.
And when you’re walking around having been living there for a few months and someone asks you for directions, you know you’ve made it.
4. You’ll stand out in the workforce
Something to take not of if you’re considering going on exchange is the fact that it’ll benefit your job prospects immensely. International student experiences are highly favoured by employers according to a QS Employer Survey. The survey also stated that 6 out of 10 employers around the world give extra credit for an international student experience and 80% actively sought graduates who had studied abroad.
The reasons international experiences are so sought after from graduates, involve the development of these five skills.
- Problem solving skills
- Language skills
- Networking and communication skills
5. Get away with s***
Guilty as charged!
There are certain advantages to not being a local of the country you are living in; whether it be other students’ obsession with your accent or the teacher’s sympathy, being able to use this quip to escape certain situations is a blessing in disguise.
Though we cannot say this is a reason for going on exchange, it definitely makes for some juicy stories for a good ole crack to add to your favourite memories!
The life of an independent individual is both exciting and exhausting but with no parents, siblings or friends from home around you, the reality it…you have to grow up quickly. You learn a thing of two about life when it comes to budgeting, travelling, responsibilities and taking care of yourself.
Let’s just say that going out five nights a week might start to take a toll on you, but don’t fear these skills won’t go under-utilised as you would have definitely mastered the art of sightseeing while hungover and built more tolerance to booze than you began with!
7. You might learn a thing of 30 about yourself
Sometimes it takes a push outside your comfort zone to realise what you want to do in life and meeting new people can give you a whole new perspective. Running around in the same circles and familiarities will not help you figure out what you want or come to new realisations about yourself.
8. Exchange is like a pregnancy…huh?
Okay we don’t mean an actual pregnancy, but you will experience similar symptoms; what with your rollercoaster of emotions!
EXCITING yet TERRIFYING the whole experience will heighten your emotions and force you to deal with problems in a new way; whether it be eating to your heart’s content or otherwise, it’ll only add to the experience.
Though there may be low points in your trip, there are too many high points to dwell on it too much. You will gain a new family, new insights about yourself and a hell of a lot of knowledge, and no matter the struggle you face you’ll soon discover that it is always worth it!
And on that note, you will without a doubt have a place to stay whenever you hit them up for the rest of your life. They don’t quite compare to the friends you have at home as they have shared something NO ONE would be able to understand!
Additional Tip: Love and exchange don’t mix
Finding love on your exchange experience is not ideal at all. You will go through a world of hurt and we all know that long distance relationships never end on good terms. Take it from me it isn’t worth it to let your whole experience revolve around them when there is so much more; may as well find some good coffee, it is harder than you think!