I cannot remember a time in my life when I didn’t want to travel. I’ve been fortunate enough to travel to many places throughout Europe and Asia already, but I think my biggest adventure is yet to come. In Semester 2 of this year, I will be heading to Gothenburg, Sweden on a 6 month university exchange. I will be studying three economics subjects during my time there. Before my arrival in Sweden, I am planning on travelling on a Contiki trip through Europe including Slovenia, Slovakia and many other interesting destinations.
Since I do not speak Swedish or have ever been to Sweden, you might wonder why I chose Sweden as my exchange destination. I’ve been fascinated by the country of Sweden since I was young. Eurovision in 2003 gave me my first glimpse of Swedish style and my fascination has only continued to grow since then. On doing a report on Ikea in school, I developed a love for Sweden’s style, culture and people. To be able to experience Sweden first-hand is one of the main reasons I chose Sweden to venture to on exchange. I found that my few trips to Ikea each year just wasn’t enough anymore. Also, a recent Ancestry DNA test recently confirmed that I am 12% Scandinavia; I felt it was time to act on all of these signs and return to my homeland.
Whilst I have never been more excited for anything in my life, I don’t think I’ve ever been as nervous as I am now. Being the youngest in my family, I have always been surrounded by family and friends constantly looking out for me. I have never travelled alone. I have never lived out of home. I have never had to budget. I have never been away from my family for more than a few weeks. More importantly, I am someone who is known for feeling the cold and having my heater on 29 degrees. My exchange experience is not only going to test my resilience and challenge what I know, but also test my budgeting skills. So, whatever is going to happen on this exchange will definitely be an all-round learning experience.
The more I talk to other students who are travelling on exchange or have already travelled on exchange, it reinforces the similarities we all facing. I have found that we are all faced with an anxious, scary and amazing experience. I am just like every other exchange student who’s looking for new experiences and challenges in a strange, new place. It’s like they say, ‘life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.’ I choose adventure.