An Exchange Student’s Take on Studying Abroad

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For those that didn’t know, BloomU has brilliant relations with partner universities from all over the world.

This university has several programmes ranging from semesters to summer programmes and even years abroad. All of these opportunities can be found in the Bloomsburg University’s Office of Global and Multicultural Education. 

But why should you bother studying abroad? Isn’t it just Expensive?

Yes… but NO. Before the end of my first year at university, the idea of studying abroad did not occur to me. I had to change my course and ended up selecting BA History with a year abroad. At this time I did not know what would hit me .By the way, if you hadn’t yet realized I am an exchange student… maybe I should have started with that. I am from London originally and study at the University of Essex (those who attended the Study Abroad Fair would know who we are *wink wink*). My point is that I am now officially an expert in studying abroad… or I would like to think I am.

Studying abroad is pricey, but there are scholarships out there if you do your research properly. Upon reflection, I can confirm that all my spending to get to America from England has definitely been worth it, and I am sure everyone from Europe who was apart of my arrivals group would agree.

In the short 7 weeks that I have been here, I have been able to meet some of the humblest people I have ever encountered. I’ve traveled to places like New York, Gettysburg, York PA, and plan future trips. I have engaged in activities, like kayaking (with the help of Quest).

What are some of the perks?

Personally, the opportunity to travel is what drove me towards this opportunity. But along the way you develop some amazing skills, admirable to future employers.

Adaptability:

Never in my life would I have thought that at the age of 20 years old, I would be over 3000 miles from home. I have adapted to cultural differences (there are more than you would think), cuisine differences, and most importantly school differences. I have never had to study so intensively, and I am proud to say that I am keeping on top of my work.

Independence:

Before coming to Bloom, the most I’d traveled alone is maybe 1.5 hours by plane to Edinburgh, Scotland, and Cork, Ireland. Now, if my stupid self had messed up and I accidentally missed one of those fights, that would have only been around $80 wasted. However, if I missed my flight from the UK to Newark, NJ that would have been $500 down the drain! luckily enough I made it, all by myself.

Patience and Persistence:

The process of applying to study abroad is time-consuming. Visa appointments with your exchange country’s embassy are needed, health checks, blood tests, and vaccinations may also be required depending on the country. Communication between your home institution and study abroad institution can be frustrating, especially when things don’t go the way you have planned. But the end result is one of the most satisfactory things. You can say you did this, your patience and persistence got yourself here.

Budgeting:

Now, this is something I am not good at… but I’m learning. Most places where you will be able to study abroad as a US citizen will not permit you to work. This means your finances are limitedHowever, if you plan correctly, you will have enough money to live on and to plan cheap, budget trips. For anyone that may go to Europe, look up Ryanair or Easyjet. They will be some of the cheapest flights you will find!

Planning/ Organization:

During your time away you will plan trips, events, and activities. It’s inevitable! although you’ll be having a great time, you will also be learning how to plan sufficiently, cheaply, and thoroughly!

I hope this gave you a greater insight into the world of studying abroad! Happy studying.

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