I studied as an exchange student at the University of Newcastle in Newcastle, Australia for five months. I took classes, just like a normal semester, but I was
able to travel on my own time. There was little structure to my program,
which really gave me freedom to be part of the culture.
My academic development has thrived through my international experience. Studying and traveling abroad has forced me to further understand and implement effective time management. With time management and the stress relief of traveling I was able to do well in multiple courses. My international experience has also provided me with some differing points of view that have allowed me to open my outlook on the world and my studies. I have been able to grow personally through extreme independence. This has allowed me to grow and further understand who I am without as many distractions from external sources. Traveling has allowed me to see that I enjoy living in different cultures, learning about new ideas, and pushing myself to try different things. While on exchange I also observed that I am more resilient against risk than I had previously thought I was.
I would tell interested students to take the leap, and go for the adventure. It is definitely worth stepping out of comfort zones to pursue an interesting lifestyle for a while. For many people, studying abroad shapes them into more open minded, transparent, and authentic people and they want to conquer more challenges from that point forward.