For all of you university students that are on the fence of doing a study abroad I want to share my experiences of doing it and hopefully persuade you to do it because it was definitely one of the best decisions of my life.
1. Get some easy credits
I had a lot of electives left as I already finished the majority of pre requisites to graduate with my degree. So I thought why not do a study abroad to get these elective credits since it is either pass or fail. Doing a study abroad should fit with your graduation schedule if you want to graduate on time so it did work out for me in the end.
2. Becoming more independent
The first reason that I chose to go on exchange was to be more independent. Basically my whole life I depended on my parents to take care of me so I really wanted to see if I could be on my own for once. I learned how to cook, manage my schedule, did my laundry, went grocery shopping, planned trips and thrived while doing so.
3. Out of my comfort zone
I really felt like I needed to get out of my comfort zone of living at home. I have never moved in my life so I basically grew up in the Markham bubble. I was stuck in the routine of life and wanted to get out of it even just for 4 months. I wanted to seek out adventure, go to places I have never been before and where nobody knows my name. It was really cool to start fresh and have a new beginning.
4. Meet people
I am an introvert at heart but have always worked on my social skills trying to be more involved in school and taking on leadership roles. One way I saw that I could improve these skills tenfold was to travel abroad and just meet a ton of brand new people and grow my network. Now I have met people from every single continent in the world except for Antarctica and have a place to stay if I decide to travel.
5. See the world
From a young age my mom always took me and my brother on a trip every single year and instilled a passion for travel in me. I have never been to Europe so that's why I decided do my exchange there and country hop as it is very easy to get from one area to another especially with cheap Ryanair tickets. Life is very short and I want to always take advantage of the opportunities out there to experience the world at its finest. On your death bed nobody is going to say that they regret not working that overtime shift but they are going to say that they regret not spending more time travelling and sharing that with the people that they care about.
Overall, this experience of my 4 month student exchange was the best experience of my life. I feel like my perspective on life changed, improved my social skills, saw amazing places, met even more awesome people and will have memories that I will never forget. Life is all about creating memories as they are truly priceless and no one can take them away from you.