Seven Reasons Why I’m Continuing My Tertiary Studies Overseas

Studying overseas is one of the most beneficial experiences you can have as a university student – something I was quick to learn. Want to know what won me over? Check out seven of the top reasons I decided to study overseas!
  1. It gives me the opportunity to travel. Student exchange will allow me to travel to another country (England) and explore its culture, traditions and beauties in-depth and over an extended period of time. In addition, studying overseas will also mean that I have the opportunity to travel to other nearby countries. This interests me, as I would like to experience the wonders of the world.
  2. It allows me to experience a different style of education. By studying abroad, I will have the opportunity to experience a style of teaching that I would not be privy to in Australia. Furthermore, I believe this will give me the chance to see a different side of my journalism degree.
  3. It allows me to experience a different side of the journalism profession. As noted in the previous point, studying abroad will allow me to experience a different side of my journalism degree. This is especially notable, as journalism has been a profession in England for over 300 years – before Australia was even colonized!
  4. It gives me the opportunity to gain unique experiences. A lot of my Journalism-student peers have taken a gap year (or gap month/s), in which they went overseas. They have interesting stories, experiences and outlooks from that year (or month/s) abroad, and often times, it even resulted in their decision to purse journalism as a career. Student exchange will allow me to undertake a similar experience while allowing me to complete my degree.
  5. It looks good on my resume. This is especially notable if I manage to pick up any placements or internships while overseas.
  6. It gives me the opportunity to make lifelong friends. While studying abroad, I’ll meet students from my host country who have backgrounds unique to Australia. This will benefit me, as I could potentially establish long-lasting relationships with unique persons, who could also be excellent points of network in the future.
  7. It allows me to achieve personal development. Being in a different country will test my ability to function in a variety of new, diverse situations. It will encourage me to be independent, explorative and self-reliant.

The Cons I Had To Consider Before Deciding to Study Abroad

While studying abroad is beneficial, cultural and exciting, there were several things I had to consider before making a definitive decision.
  1. Firstly, studying abroad might cause me to be out of my comfort zone. I know, right. You, out of your comfort zone in an overseas paradise? But think about it. Everyone has an established comfort zone. Everyone has their established friends, activities, hangouts and jobs. And I, like everyone else, am comfortable with the familiarity each of these offer. Breaking out of these familiarities in such a sudden and extreme way might prove to be both scary and uncomfortable. I had to consider if studying abroad is worth this risk and decide whether I could or could not embrace new experiences, cultures and people.
  2. On top of this, studying abroad will probably cause me to feel some semblance of homesickness. It could be for my friends and family, or for Australian comforts, like the sun. But let’s be real – it’s 2016. Social networking sites such as Skype and Facebook make keeping in touch incredibly easy, so I decided the likelihood of this happening would be fairly minimal.
  3. But… studying abroad might cause me to miss important milestones and/or emergencies back home. I would love to be there for all the important milestones and tragedies my family or friends may experience. I’m also the kind of person who prefers to offer support in person, and not through a computer screen or telephone. However, life at home will go on – with or without me. It’s something I had to come to terms with before making my final decision.
  4. And finally, study abroad costs a large amount of money. Like, think-of-a-number-and-double-it large. It was (and still is) my biggest concern about travelling overseas – and it doesn’t help that the United Kingdom has a high cost of student living. Thankfully, though, all that pre-decision research paid off. I found out when to go, where to stay and what to do to limit my costs overseas. And besides which, the money will be more than worth the one in a lifetime experience!

Hugh and Jake who?!

Hi there!

So I’ve officially been on exchange for just over two weeks in London! So far I have loved everything about this city! From the transport (amazing compared to Brisbane) to the fashion and shopping, it’s going to be very hard to come home in January. However, just for now I’ll do a quick recap of some exciting things that have happened in the past week! Read more

It begins…

Prepared
adjective

1. made ready or fit or suitable beforehand
2. having made preparations
3. equipped or prepared with necessary intellectual resources

As I am sitting here on my day of departure, I am looking at this definition and realising this does not apply to me. Being a typical young male, I left my run a little late with organising flights, visa and my accommodation for my semester abroad in Maastricht. I packed this morning, organised my flights roughly 4 weeks ago and applied for my visa weeks ago – and I have known about my exchange for months. But despite having majority of it organised now, I still feel like I don’t meet the definition of prepared.

So as I stumble my way through the strategic marketing course in the Netherlands using the PBL learning system, I hope you guys can learn and laugh with me. The first joke is on me – I have roughly 29 hours of travel to get there thanks to my late run. Please feel free to comment and make suggestions for what I should do on my travels.

Lesson one: If you’re going international, be prepared as early as possible!

 

The final goodbye

Despite knowing that endings are a part of life, goodbyes are never easy.

Group assessment and final exams completed, marking the end of my life studying abroad at Grenoble ecole de Management. We finished the month in style, spending an evening together (all the students) enjoying a three-course meal, presentation of certificates and did as students do and continued our celebrations well into the night. After all, we deserved it!

Reflecting back, studying abroad taught me many lessons and was a fantastic experience. I encourage all students to study abroad at some point of their University degree. These are my reasons why:

You learn as much inside the classroom as you do outside the classroom

Inside the classroom, you learn similar course material as you would in your home country. Only difference is, studying abroad incorporates more of an international influence. The diversity of culture from your teachers and your peers allows greater discussion and depth into the subjects, giving you a greater perspective and understanding of whatever it may be that you are learning.

Outside the classroom you can learn everything from the history of the country, the culture, mannerism and the different lifestyles of those around you. Make the most of your time outside the classroom by sightseeing and experiencing as much as you can. Before you know it, you could be riding bikes everywhere, eating baguettes and cheese and feeling like a local Frenchy, as did I.

Stress Less

Firstly, you got chosen to study abroad, well done! Remember this is a fantastic oppourtunity so enjoy yourself. At times the study load can be overwhelming but with the grades not counting towards your GPA, understanding and passing the course is more then enough. The teachers and more then supportive and there to help you. If you are tired or feel it is too much, then make the teachers aware.

Enjoy!

Enjoy being out of your comfort zone. Yes, it is daunting being on your own in another part of the world but reality is, you are on your own in another part of the world so you can see, do, taste, experience what you want and when you want (be safe of course). You can create a whole new chapter of your life and share your experiences for years to come.

Also, enjoy the chance to meet and network with a whole new group of people interested in the same subjects and travel as you are. Take the time to chat with everyone from fellow students to teachers to local business owners. There is so much to learn about others and about the world. Advice: get networking.

Just remember, this is your experience so tailor it how you wish. Your home University are sending you on a study abroad program so you can learn in a new environment and by learn I mean both University material and cultural experiences. My trip to Grenoble was unforgettable. The course material for my courses: International Business, Digital Marketing and French Language and Culture, was very detailed and made to be very interesting. I was also able to create a whole new set of memories with a new group of friends from Canada, America, India, Saudi Arabia and even Australia. Overall, the trip was educational (as expected) but also allowed me to form strong friendships and networks, unforgettable memories and live an experience I never dreamed of.

Found the Aussie in amongst France

Last week of the four week University course and my body clock is finally syncing to the 9:45am starts, overload of croissants and bad coffees (for those coffee lovers, the best coffee is found in vending machines…says something). I am also one week into my Digital Marketing course and already feel I have learnt enough to comfortably analyse websites and recommend improvements for website usability. In other words, we are learning so much so quickly and hoping that we are absorbing enough information for our Thursday presentation and Friday exam.

Outside the school walls and since I last posted, I got to enjoy an “eventful” night of go-karting as organised by the school. Based on my past experiences of misbalancing and driving straight into a wall, you can imagine my nerves and hesitation towards this activity. Needless to say, I put on a helmet and got back into the kart, whizzing around the track and feeling as though I owned it. However, experience short lived. A simple go-kart experience seemed to turn into dodgem cars and I was back to my old ways of running into walls. Overall though, the activity was a lot of fun and another great experience in bringing all the classmates together.

I also just got back from a weekend in Lyon, the third largest place in France. With a river snaking through the middle, roman ruins and fantastic shopping, I highly recommend a trip to Lyon. The nightlife in Lyon is also great and out of all the possible places to party, we happened to stumble across an “authentic Australian club” (on a boat). Yes, I will admit, we played the Aussie card but who wouldn’t right when you are surrounded by French people and find out there is only one other Australian person working on the boat/in the club. Again, anyone visiting Lyon, I challenge you to find this Aussie bar (aka Ayers Rock) and be apart of its fantastic atmosphere.

So with only four more days left of University and the farewells drawing closer, it feels as though time has flown by. I have learnt so much both academically but also culturally and been able to make many valuable contacts along the way. Anyway, it is off to bed and I will post again soon about my final days in Grenoble.

Aussie shot at Ayers Rock, France

Aussie shot at Ayers Rock, France

Lyon France

Lyon France

Lyon

Lyon