Now I don’t want you to read the title of this post and think that I’m having a windge or am about to bag your beloved country or town because that is not the case. If anything this post is so that those of you reading that are able to learn from my regret can do so because if I could turn back the clock I can 100% guarantee you that I would change my thinking about this.
This post is all about my regret and how I now wish I had studied at university abroad on an exchange program:-
You see, I told you this post wasn’t all doom and gloom. But if I can inform you or even convince you to take the plunge and do an exchange program abroad than I have certainly done my job and I will now live vicariously through you in that regard. I graduated from university in 2011 after 3 years of full-time studying my Business degree majoring in Event Management and Marketing.
At one stage a friend and I looked into the exchange program, I even attended an exchange meeting at my university to learn about the possibilities and what was required in order to make this happen… but, for a few reasons (now, stupid reasons) I chose not to pursue the idea any further.
University exchange programs are a genius idea for those who are studying and yet still want to travel like many of their gap year friends. It really is relatively easy to apply and with hundreds of university campuses around the world participating in the program, you options are really limitless.
So why should you do it?
1. The obvious… you can travel!
The biggest and best perk about studying abroad or on exchange is the fact that it is exactly that, abroad! Attending university overseas for a semester or a year creates the opportunity for you to explore the city, country and even nearby countries around your university. Europe is a fantastic choice for this as so many different countries neighbour each other and are a short flight away.
2. Studying abroad looks fantastic on your resume
Travel looks fantastic on your resume! Often employers look favourably upon those who have travel experience as it shows you have experienced a different culture, are willing to go out of your comfort zone and try something new and have usually acquired new skills and traits to bring to your job from your experiences.
3. Being Out Of Your Comfort Zone
There are few ways to challenge yourself better than to move and live abroad, study abroad and work abroad and you’ll most likely be doing all of these if you choose to do an exchange problem! A whole new city to familiarise yourself with, a new campus to navigate, friends to meet and potential casual job on the side and you’re going to push yourself like you never have before, but it will be worth it!
4. Working Abroad
Similar to what I’ve mentioned above, the challenge of working abroad will also present itself if you choose to do an exchange. Few people can afford to move overseas and rely solely on their savings for the semester/year (if you can, I applaud your saving power!). Getting a casual or part-time job whilst studying is a commitment in itself let alone in a foreign country and city. But it gives you the opportunity to learn new skills, earn some cash and meet new people to spend your spare time with whom you would never have come across before!
5. Meeting new people
Again, linking in with the above, you have the best opportunity to meet new and interesting people when you study abroad. Often your new roommates/class mates/work peers will become like family and that is a fantastic bonus of studying overseas!
6. Cherishing your home
Whilst living abroad does amazing things when your there it will also make you realise how lucky/great you have it back home. Having your solid group of friends that you can go to your local coffee shop with or coming home from work to a home cooked meal are a couple of the creature comforts that you will surely miss. The good thing about this is that it will still be there upon your return (whenever that is) and you’ll appreciate it even more than before you moved!
7. University Life
University life varies all around the world and it is something that you will need to adapt to depending on the country you’re from and country you are heading to. Living on campus is one major university difference that I can think of comparing most universities around the world and those here in Australia and I really wish I could have experienced that social aspect of studying!
So there you have it, my travel regret that hopefully you guys won’t make if you’re considering whether to study abroad or not! Of course, everyone has their own reasons to do or not do certain things, but for me, this was a big one I should have just gone and done! Life is still great. I’ve still had amazing opportunities and everything is as it should be, but who knows how life would have turned out if I’d taken this plunge!
All posts are by Global Whispers and are entirely my own opinions, views and experiences.