I didn’t know much at 18 and sometimes I think I know even less as a 20-something, but, one thing I knew for sure when I first started University was that I wanted to study abroad.
One of the first things I did when I started at Macquarie University was apply to study abroad with my best friend. The thought never occurred to me that one of us might get in and the other might not but I soon found myself waving goodbye to my whole world at Sydney airport, sending him off on the adventure of a life time.
Almost a year later, I’m sitting in the library at my first preference American university and I still get to see my best friend every single day because he lives two doors down from me.
If you were to ask anyone at home if they ever thought I would pack up and move halfway across the world, they’d probably laugh and ask if you were both talking about the same person.
Being away from my family and friends has been scary, exciting and liberating and has brought out every single side of me; even the ones I didn’t know existed.
Studying abroad has changed my life in so many endearing ways and I will be talking about my experience for many, many years to come.
So, here is my list to you – of ways in which you can expect your life to be impacted if you were to study abroad.
You will become independent
This is my favourite thing about being away from home. Being responsible for little things like doing my washing, keeping my house and room tidy and not having to worry about my parents messaging me asking me when I’m going to be home, or who I’m out with is extremely liberating.
With independence will come maturity
This one is pretty self explanatory but you can expect to mature a lot with all your new responsibilities – which is awesome, btw!
You will learn A LOT about yourself
This is one thing that really caught me off guard, especially because this is my first time travelling. Meeting new people helps you get an idea of how you are and where you stand in comparison to others. I could write a book of things I’ve learnt about myself and what makes me tick and what wakes me up in the morning.
You will appreciate and miss your family a lot
I actually ended up in sick and in hospital here and will never forget the sound of my Mum’s voice when my roommate called her at 4am in the morning to tell her what was going on. Being away has made me realize how much I love my family and how much I take them for granted.
You will learn who your true friends are
This can be painful but is very important in understanding who you are as well. It’s tricky because it’s hard to find a balance between thinking ‘well, do they have a life as busy as mine or are they just not staying in touch?’
You’ll probably catch the travel bug (if you didn’t already have it)
I’ve never travelled before so have experienced a lot of firsts; passport, visa, long haul flight. People would always ask why I’d never travelled before and if I ever wanted to and I often explained how I’d never had that much of a desire too. I couldn’t understand how travelling can affect people so profoundly. Although now that I’ve been able to experience all of these amazing things there are so many other opportunities I want to explore.
This post has been published on ENID Network. See here.