Go for it and enjoy every moment
G’Day, UK! Back from down under,
It is a wrap! after an incredible exhilarating year of feeding kangaroos, surfing the Aussie waves, tasting the vegemite, hiking Uluru, ahh yes and the studying of course! It has hit that dreaded time of the year, where I have to finally say goodbye to it all, and to all of the amazing experiences I have been through over my time here.
To sum up my exchange abroad in a couple words, it was nothing less than a life changing experience. Australia is such a beautiful country, and being able to spend part of my degree there has truly taken my overall university experience to a whole new level, and I have enjoyed the spectacular journey I have been on. It has allowed me to get involved in new clubs and societies, make international friends, explore the world, find new interests, and I have noticed this experience has also had a positive effect on my personal development as well.
At first, before beginning my journey to study in Australia, I was not sure if I could actually go through with being so far away from home for such a long period of time, and I was also worried about the fact that my current friendship groups at Reading would no longer be there on my return as most of them would have graduated. However, looking back over my past year, I am so happy that I went for it. I realised that this time overseas may be the only opportunity I have, to get to travel abroad for a long period of time. Eventually, I will find a job and career, and this opportunity to study abroad may have turned out to be a once in a life time opportunity.
One thing I have noticed, is that some people feel homesick at the start – when you get to your campus and you know absolutely no one! But this is just temporary as everyone is so approachable and you quickly make new friends. It is crazy because over the months, you begin to get attached to your new home, and the reverse feelings happen when you approach the end of your programme and have to leave it all behind.
I want to finish by encouraging those who are thinking about taking on an adventure like this, to go for it and enjoy every moment of your exchange abroad. I am very surprised how quickly one year has literally flown by! My time in Australia has definitely been the most treasured year of my life so far. The memories I have created will stay with me for the rest of my life and I have loved it so much, that I actually want to eventually move there permanently!