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Students who travel - Lottie's guide to studying abroad

Posted on March 15th, 2017

 It’s a tough life being a student…Aside from all the partying and sleeping-in that you’re expected to do, they also decide to throw in a care-free, four month summer holiday that you have to decide what to do with.

The reality is that this is probably going to be the longest summer holiday that you’ll ever get (unless there’s such a job unknown to me which involves being on holiday all the time; please contact me if you know where one of these exists!), so why not make the most of it?

Of course, the dream holiday and travel plans can’t be accomplished on a student budget, which is why I’ve decided to write about students’ experiences of travelling, and what the best way to do it whilst keeping the costs low.

The best thing to do when you start your course is to talk to your tutor or supervisor and ask for advice about whether it is possible for you to study abroad, and how to go about doing it. There will also be a team in the university who will provide special Study Abroad information and help you apply.

Erasmus and exchange programmes often offer superb perks, you can sometimes claim back the cost of your flights, and you’re still entitled to a student loan. So what are you waiting for?! There’s no better way to travel and experience new cultures than to live abroad, even if is only for a short period of time.

I asked some students who had studied abroad about the experiences that they had and what they enjoyed most about being able to study abroad;

Megan

“After hearing about Northumbria’s study abroad program I decided to spend the first semester of my second year in Florida. I am so glad I did and couldn’t recommend studying abroad more highly. It gave me the chance to see America and meet people in a way I wouldn’t have been able to as a tourist.

Studying and seeing the world at the same time made so much sense to me, and I think more people should give it a try”

 

Kieran

“Studying abroad has been an integral part of my time at university. Despite never imagining living in a different country, I am writing this from France (my second semester abroad) having already lived in South Korea for four months. How many people can say they have lived in South Korea? If it wasn’t for the study abroad opportunity provided by my university, it is unlikely I would have ever ventured as far as Asia. Living in Korea allowed me to use the country as a travel hub. Facilitating a trip to Tokyo in Japan, as well as many other wonderful destinations within Korea itself. Studying abroad is a huge step to independence, truly pushing you outside of your comfort zone, but simultaneously it is one of the greatest journeys you could embark on. I have made life-long friends from every far corner of the world, learned about different cultures and even picked up a bit of foreign language ability along the way. If you have the opportunity, take it.”

 

Will

Living and studying in the southeast of France within the picturesque city of Grenoble during the week, snowboarding above the clouds in the nearby situated Alps region at the weekends…. what’s not to love?

“I met like minded people, experienced new culture, learnt a new language and explored parts of Europe with newly found pals. Given the support and financial aid on offer from some universities around Erasmus and other study abroad programs, I would recommend it to anyone looking to add some-thing different to their time at University. It really is an ideal way to discover exciting parts of the world and the memories I made during my time in Grenoble will stay with me forever. “

 Fi

“I would really recommend doing an exchange if it is a possible option on your degree for so many reasons, the chance to travel included. While I was in France, I visited the south coast as well as Paris, which was great because it gave my friends back home a reason to go on holiday too. While I’ve been in Hong Kong, I’ve already had a weekend trip to Shanghai and I have Singapore and Borneo booked up for our ‘Spring break’. Also, being halfway across the world already gives you much more impetus to do something meaningful with your summer too – whether that is travelling or finding an international internship somewhere.”

In my opinion..

Whether it is having the Eiffel Tower on your door step or learning new ways of life with locals in Korea, what reason have you got not to look into studying abroad? My biggest regret of university (and trust me, there’s been a few…) has definitely been not grabbing the chance to study abroad.

In my opinion, there’s no better way to experience a culture than living there, not even to mention the new friends you’ll make, the sights you get to see and the new languages you might pick up!

So go for it, my most humble and honest advice would be to go straight to your supervisor and ask about your options to study abroad, you won’t regret it.

There are some great sources of info on the Universities’s websites – click here if you are at Newcastle Uni or click here if you are at Northumbria ….

Lottie x

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