Studying Abroad is The Most Valuable Thing to Do With Your Degree
Heading to university this year? Next year? Are you at university now? If so, your mind is probably full of various ideas and thoughts.
Where is good for my course? Where is good for nightlife? Do I have nearby family? How far do I have to travel?
One thing you may or may not have thought of however, is your university’s study abroad opportunities. An opportunity to take 5 months or 1 year out of studying to live somewhere else, indulging in another culture and their academic curriculum.
In the UK, the standard of education is comparable among certain tiers of University – for example Russell Group institutions. Studying abroad offers you the perfect opportunity to escape that bubble, and the country!
I studied for one semester in Central Europe, at the Charles University of Prague. It was an experience entirely different to studying at home. Work was (significantly) more relaxed, international co-operation more encouraged, and the teaching style much different.
Not only did I make friends for life while studying in Prague, but it offered me the opportunity to see things from a different angle, and engage in real debate with people who have genuinely different opinions. For example, it was unheard of to hear someone confidently defending Putin’s decision to annex Crimea, or hear the aspirations of a Ukrainian native who dreamed of her country’s involvement in the EU.
These are the things that, in my own experience, you do not get by staying at your home institution.
Strangely enough, I also found among my peers that students returned with a better grasp of what their institution wanted. To put it plainly, it was a return to the “normal”. Personally, I found my grade performance was stronger after returning than it was before I went.
So if you haven’t considered it, definitely get in touch with the study abroad team at your (or your prospective) university. It is a truly indescribable opportunity, and a one you certainly wouldn’t regret.