Madrid Jacqui O'Bryan 2

Why I chose to go overseas and why you should too!

Jacqui – Exchange to Comillas University, Spain

Semester 2, 2016

I don’t know what it is about travelling, about seeing the world. But I have always wanted to leave Australia. For as long as I can remember it has been my goal, to experience different cultures, to speak a different language, to see parts of the world people only dream about, to not just talk about it, but to actually do it.

I seriously considered just packing up and going after high school. I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do anyway and I was hoping that I could just make a life out of travelling. But then reality hit me, for one I had no real means of supporting myself while I travelled, secondly I couldn’t do anything, I wasn’t qualified and I didn’t want to go overseas only to have to work in some mundane job to support myself.

So I looked for other options, and came across ACU’s Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Global Studies dual degree. It was the perfect fit. Not only could I take arts subjects that I was interested in, it was also a part of the degree to spend a semester overseas. Not to mention I got two and a half years to save my money so I could make it the best experience possible.

I guess I haven’t answered the question “Why I chose to go overseas?” The reality is I don’t know why. What I do know is that what it has taught me so far is beyond words.

I have learnt more about the world in the last 3 months than in the last 21 years of my life back home. Here in Europe history is all around you, everywhere you step has a story, I have read countless books, and seen many movies and documentary’s about European history, but nothing can compare to just diving in. From the Roman Empire, Napoleon, WWI, WWII, Stalin and the Soviet Union, to current events such as the impact of refugees on Europe and Brexit’s impact on the European Union.

Here at Comillas in Madrid, I am studying International Relations. Subjects, which focus on Europe’s history and how that has effected modern Europe and the world. I am also studying the Spanish language, which is spoken by an estimated 427 million people around the world, the 2nd most spoken in the world.

I have also learnt a lot about myself. I now know that I can make friends with countless people from all around the world, even though we could come from completely different backgrounds I can still connect. I now know that I am perfectly happy to do things alone, I can spend hours in a museum, in a park, or just wondering around towns and cities and feel perfectly content doing it by myself. I also have a clearer idea of what I want to do in the future. I have a greater self-confidence,

So why should you go overseas? Do it to learn about the world, to let that influence the decisions you make! Talk to people you might not have a chance to meet at home, see something different every week, eat something different, do something different, and experience something different! But above all else do it because you want to, do it for you.