Why I’m Studying Abroad in 2020 – Brigette from La Trobe
I’ve wanted to study abroad for 5 years but I still haven’t…and I nearly ran out of time to do it.
I decided I wanted to study abroad when I went on a trip to California with my high school and got to stay with a host family for 10 days.
I hadn’t finished year 12, or even been accepted into uni, but I was already picturing myself living in San Diego, studying at an American college for a semester.
I didn’t even know what I wanted to study yet, but I knew I would be doing some of it overseas.
But after I started uni, I soon realised just how big of a commitment that a completing a semester overseas would be both in time and financially.
When you start your degree, everyone asks what job you want at the end, but I had no idea. My answer was always the same, “I have plenty of time to decide”. That made me think I had forever to do everything I needed to.
For the first 3 years of my degree I only really did what I had to do and kept telling myself I had plenty of time for the “extras”. This was partly because I didn’t really know what to do and I was nervous to step outside my comfort zone. As a result, my goal of studying abroad just kept getting pushed back.
Then, last year I had to complete an internship as part of my degree. I was forced out of my comfort zone and I ended up getting a media and communications internship with YMCA Global Study.
This made me realise a couple of things:
Studying abroad didn’t have to be a 6-month long commitment
There’s funding available to support students to study overseas
I’m more than capable of doing the “extras” I need to stand out while I’m at uni than I thought.
Suddenly I was thinking about all these amazing opportunities I wanted to do before I completed my degree, and I only had a year and a half left!
I really wanted to have a few “extras” for both law and media. After my internship last year, I had the media side pretty covered, but I needed to work on the law side. That’s why I’m studying abroad with YMCA Global Study during the winter break this year.
I’ll be participating in the International Litigation and Arbitration program at Michigan State University. I haven’t covered these topics in my degree so it’s a great opportunity to do a subject I can’t do at home.
I can’t wait to get a taste of American college life, meet new people and travel around parts of the US that I haven’t been to before.
By the end of my 5 year degree I will have crammed in all my “extras” into the last year and a half.
So, my advice is, don’t be like me.
Don’t keep telling yourself you have plenty of time.
Plan ahead and get the most out of your degree. Study abroad and take every opportunity you can because you only have a few years and they go by so quickly!
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