So on Wednesday (15th of April) Murdoch is hosting a Study abroad and Exchange fair and I recommend that every single one of you go. If you have the opportunity to study abroad, even if it is only for a semester, I think you should. I left Sweden almost 5 years ago, and although things are harder away from your family, traveling and studying in a country other than your own is a life changing experience and it definitely makes you a different (I would say better) person.
1. It makes your resume stronger and can boost your chances to get employed.
Problem solving, adaptability and your relationship-building skills improve something ridiculous when you are forced to live and study in a country other than your own. I have lived away from Sweden since I was 19 and I have never called my parents screaming for help (although I have wanted to several times…), I have instead had to make friends and contacts where I am. This has not only made me realize that I am stronger than I ever thought, but also that people are friendlier and more helpful than I could ever imagine.
2. You gain cultural understanding
In today’s society, where you will meet and work with people from all over the world, it doesn’t cut it walking around thinking that people from other cultures are strange. During my time in Australia I have made friends from Germany, The U.S, Australia, Singapore, China, Malaysia, England and New Zealand, just to mention a few. It is easy to become close minded if you never venture outside your safe little haven surrounded by your family and childhood friends. People from different places find different things funny, annoying or interesting, and having this in the back of your mind will make you a relationship-building Superstar. It also makes you a better human being. Period.
3. It builds you up in more ways than one.
There is nothing more liberating (and terrifying) than moving to a country where you know no one, and no one knows anything about you. For me, this truly made me analyze not only who I was, but also who I wanted to become. I have freely been able to shape my own personality (through triumphs and downfalls along the way) without people around me telling me that “I have changed”.
4. You become a risk-taker.
A dear friend of mine (who I met traveling) once said to me; “Nothing always leads to nothing, and something always leads to something”. This saying has since become somewhat of a mantra to me. When you look back at your time away you realise that being outside your comfort zone for that long has made you look at risks with different eyes. After all it is just another opportunity, right?
*The exchange fair is on between 10am and 2pm on Wednesday at South street Campus*.