Student exchange - why you should go for it
Student times is one of the nicest periods in people’s life. Piles of homework and sleepless nights are only one part of this experience so don’t miss out on amazing opportunities that you can get outside your campus gates. Universities offer excellent opportunities to experience life and learning in another country through student exchange programs. You should definitely go to a different country for one or two semesters to gain more versatile knowledge and skills as well as experience new culture! By taking a closer look at the exchange as an option to broaden your outlook, you will figure out there are a lot of benefits of giving it a try.
Master your language skills
Once you move to a different country, no matter if it permanent or temporary, you inevitably immerse yourself in another language as you hear it everywhere all day round. Use this opportunity to practice the language of your interest, make foreign friends and you will thank yourself for this long after the finish of your trip.
Experience life in a foreign country
Student exchange is often called a once-in-a-lifetime experience because you get the chance to both live and study in a different country which very often is very different from where you grew up. For many students it’s the first time when they try living without their parents and make first steps to their very own and very independent life with their own rules, decisions and responsibilities. Apart from studying, you can also travel, go sight-seeing and make it an amazing journey you will never forget!
Take benefit from an educational perspective
A different cultural context is no doubt a nice addition to what you already know! It is very likely that at your future workplace you will have to communicate with people with different cultural backgrounds so your exchange experience will play a major role in how good you are going to be in building rapport with these people. World is so much mobile these days – you should have an open mind and think out of the box when it comes to getting new knowledge and interacting with people.
Something to decorate your resume with
When you return from a student exchange, you are going to be a different person already. Your future employers will be tempted to offer a job to someone who was brave enough to get themselves out of their comfort zone and leave the home country for so long. They will understand you don’t have a narrow way of thinking and challenges don’t threaten you but, on the contrary, attract and make your life more vivid.
The idea behind these exchange opportunities is simple – you go to a different country while someone comes to yours. Usually it doesn’t cost extra – you pay the same fees to your institutions and just enjoy the benefits of this modern education where you are given a chance to get a broader scope. Of course, you will usually need to cover accommodation and living expenses but even this issue can be negotiated through applying for a scholarship or grant.
So what are your next steps?
- Approach your institution’s international exchange office and find out everything you need to know about submitting an application for an exchange program.
- Narrow down your options to just a few institutions according to the countries you would like to visit and the language in which classes are held.
- Remember that exchange will often be just one of the alternatives as there are other variations available, such as short courses, international internships, research exchange programs and so on. Pick the one based on your needs!
- Once you have been accepted, get prepared properly! Organize your accommodation, book flights, apply for visas (if needed), etc.