Put simply, I love to travel. Studying abroad is one of the best ways to gain exposure to a new country, new culture, new language, and new people! It can be both exhilarating and intimidating.
Even if you move to an English-speaking country like England as I did, you’ll most likely also have to adjust to some subtle differences. To my surprise, after ordering a lemonade at a restaurant during my first visit to Canterbury, I was instead given a Sprite. Luckily, this was a drink I enjoy, and it made me better prepared for misunderstandings so I can just go with the flow.
Living and studying in a foreign country will give you the chance to experience more of these moments of triumph. Here are some other reasons I think studying abroad is an amazing idea.
1) Personal growth
Get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Language barriers, making new friends speaking a mix of several languages (e.g. Spanglish), getting extra sauce with your burger because you don’t know what the person behind the counter has said and nodding politely seems like the right thing to do.
2) …and academic growth
You will have the opportunity to see how different countries teach, mentor and regard their students. PhD students in most Scandinavian countries are considered staff members while in other areas of Europe they are considered students.
3) New food – which may or may not be palatable
Vegemite, hakarl, natto, durian. The list goes on. This is your chance to flex those taste buds and put them to good use.
4) Friends from all over the world
You won’t be BFFs with everyone you meet but you will find those diamonds in the rough, who will be from countries you may have never visited, who will become close to your heart.
This is why I started this blog! Studying abroad gives you the confidence that you can travel to a foreign country and make it out alive. You will be bitten by the travel bug and this may turn into a fever that develops every time you return from a trip.
Stay tuned for tips on how to travel on a budget and how I did this while finishing my PhD.