10 Incredible Things That Are Going To Happen Whilst You Are Studying Abroad
- You will become fearless. It will start when you apply for your exchange. You will realise that you are doing something that will change your life. When I was accepted to Montana State University I looked it up online, because all I knew about it was that the photography course was amazing and that the University is in the middle of nowhere. I foresaw that this was going to be a challenge.
2. You will forget what comfort is and you won’t need it. I spent my New Year’s Eve night in JFK airport, New York. After delays, overlays and only a few hours sleep in 48 hours, I eventually got on my final transfer to Bozeman, Montana. Yes, I didn’t celebrate New Years in a fancy way, but I did start a new life. Adventures begin when you step outside of your comfort zone!
3. You will not be able to live without challenges. My next challenge after arriving was getting into the photography classes. I needed to meet all the lecturers and prove that I was able to do their classes without prerequisites. And I did it! I got A’s at the end of the semester! Going and living abroad is a challenge in itself, but through that you face so many more challenges. Life will seem boring when you are back.
4. Faith in humanity will come back to you. I landed in Bozeman at 2am, thinking that in the USA a taxi is going to be waiting outside. As soon as I went outside I realized that this place was going to be different. I wasn’t able to ring a taxi from my phone or the airport’s phone. Luckily, a policeman saw my tired and confused face, found a taxi for me and made sure that I got to my hotel safely. The next day, my first day of university, I noticed that everyone would say hi to me. I was surprised at this friendliness for the few first weeks of university. After staying in Montana for 8 months I learned that there isn’t a single person who wouldn’t help you.
5. Travel bug. If you didn’t have the travel bug before going abroad, you will definitely get it during. It’s everything that you are going to think about when you return home, if you can still call it that. Where will be my next destination? You will dream about all those road trips you went on whilst studying abroad.
6. Friends. This is the hardest to describe. Most of the people who go abroad are looking for something. Either adventures, friends, to learn something new etc. Even though you meet people from all walks of life you will become part of each other because you can find similarities between yourselves. I’m not exaggerating it is true! It’s going to be hard, because when you leave, you will miss everyone everyday, but it’s worth it! ‘You will never be completely at home again, because part of your heart always will be elsewhere. That is the price you pay for the richness of loving and knowing people in more than one place.’ (Miriam Adeney)
7. Teachers become best friends. Yes, lecturers can become your best friends. Lecturers I met guided me not just through studies, but life as well. I had arrived confused about the path I wanted to take, but the lecturers’ support helped me to realize what I’m capable of. Even though it has been two years since I last saw my lecturers, I keep in contact and talk to them as if I was there. One of the beauties of exchange year is that you are not left in confusion alone.
8. Confidence. Studying abroad fills you with confidence in any field. You’ll learn to be confident in believing yourself and decision-making. You will come back loving your life and confident to make changes where they’re needed. Even if you were confident enough before, your confidence is going to grow even more. It may be hard to imagine, but trust me, it happens.
9. Adventure. Whilst studying abroad you will go on so many adventures. So long as you aren’t lazy, every day will hold new adventures. When you return home you will always be looking for the next new adventure in your life.
10. You will come back wiser. I’m talking not just about education. General knowledge you gain from studying abroad will help you in the future and you will come back with better people skills. You will find you are more open minded, motivated and you will be able to talk to anyone, maybe even if you don’t speak the same language!