Kara is currently studying at our partner, University of North Carolina-Greensboro.
If someone asked me why I was going overseas to study abroad prior to leaving, my answer would have been as simple as ‘to experience something different and travel’. Now, having spent two months overseas I cannot even explain how incredible this experience has been and why you should do this too!
Firstly, the obvious reason to go overseas is to get out of isolated Australia and travel! An opportunity to go to another country and experience their culture and lifestyle is one that should not be ignored. I am currently in North Carolina in the US and here I was thinking it would be a slightly similar to Australia. I was wrong. America is entirely different in many aspects. Not only are things such as laws entirely different from Australia, but the diet, type of people, and everyday language here took time to get used to. In addition to my current hometown, I have traveled to Atlanta, Charlotte, Mexico, Chicago and Orlando and have not regretted a single second of it.
I cannot begin to imagine how amazing the cultural experience in another country such as Europe or Asia would be, and for this reason alone I recommend travelling overseas.
Secondly, the relationships and experiences I have shared with people are overwhelming. Exchange is the perfect opportunity to make life long friends with people from all over the world, who are in the exact same position as you. For instance, I live in the International House at UNCG; my roommate is from Ireland, my best friend is from New Zealand and my entire floor is made up of people from France, Scotland, Korea and Australia. All of these people have made this experience worthwhile and I know looking back they will be a highlight of my exchange program.
Thirdly, independence. Never in my life did I see myself travelling to the other side of the world all by myself. In saying that, this is the biggest risk I have ever taken and I have not doubted that decision at all. Not only am I comfortable being here without my usual family and friends supporting me and looking after me, I am now much more confident to travel around the US or even other countries in the near future by myself. I feel going overseas for exchange is also a learning experience. Through travelling, making friends and studying abroad I feel I have grown as a person and learnt a lot about other parts of the world.
All in all, there is a whole world out there waiting to be explored by you!
Why do YOU want to study overseas?