If it wasn’t already evident through the sheer volume of testimonies that one can find on this blog, studying abroad is truly an incredible experience. I would say to everyone who has the chance presented to them, grab it with both hands! In case you’re still on the fence, here are eight reasons why I think everyone should go abroad:
- You will meet incredible people. I can’t think of many other opportunities where you get the chance to mingle with other students from all over the world. Take as an example the range of nationalities that descended upon my flat alone throughout the year: from Slovakian to American to Indian, it really was fascinating being able to learn about countries and cultures that I may never be able to experience first-hand. And on that note…
- You will eat amazing food. Wrangle your flatmates into cooking for each other whenever you can. Sure, you might look less than graceful trying to eat red lentil curry and rice with only your hands, but consider it a bonding experience!
- It’s a chance to study completely new courses. Travelling to a new country means you’re being immersed in a totally different education system. For me, studying Energy Law from a Norwegian perspective was fascinating, and I learned things that I would never come across back in Glasgow
- It forces you to live independently (particularly if you’re a somewhat cocooned home student like me!) Mum can’t help you when you’re 1000 miles away, so you’re going to need to figure out how to pay your electricity bill and negotiate a foreign phone contract all by yourself – scary, I know. But trust me, you’ll manage: if I could do it, anyone could!
- You might even pick up a new language. I was shocked at how much basic Norwegian I absorbed by just travelling on public transport, wandering around the shops and ordering in cafes. It provides some decent bragging rights, too
- You’ll discover that you are capable of coping on your own. There’s no denying that it’s scary moving to a new country, particularly one you’ve never visited before. You don’t know the customs, the people or the language, but homesickness will soon be a distant memory when you discover all that your semester has in store
- You’ll experience the most incredible things, whether it be reaching the top of a mountain at 7am or jumping out a plane, if you don’t do it on your year abroad, when will you?!
- Regardless of where you go, I can guarantee you’ll come back with incredible stories and memories that you’ll enjoy forever. At risk of sounding like a complete sap, which believe it or not is completely unlike me, I wouldn’t trade my time in Norway for the world.
So, if you have the chance, take it.
You won’t regret it!