You will become more independent: Whilst my flight over to the US to begin my student exchange semester wasn’t too hard to do alone, there were a few times when I felt a little nervous or uncomfortable travelling on my own for the first time. I’ve now done 5 flights on my own and it seems like second nature. I feel quite relaxed and know how to navigate through airports with no troubles. Aside from that, I can now do laundry and make decisions for myself without consulting the whole world first.
You can do anything: when you’re away from the familiarity of home you tend to take more risks and get out of your comfort zone, which is almost always a good thing. After flying on my own, putting myself out there to meet new people, and living in a completely different environment for 4 months, I feel like I can take on anything… even living in sub-zero temperatures!
You will have experiences that you wouldn’t have had otherwise: If I hadn’t of taken the chance to go on student exchange I wouldn’t have lived in a dorm, gone to ‘frat’ parties or experienced the American lifestyle, (which by the way makes you gain a lot of weight). There were countless other amazing things I experienced, such as road trips across five different states, a rodeo and hiking.
You’ll make a ton of new friends: I’ve not only made a bunch of American friends, but also friends from all around the world because of student exchange. Whilst I miss them all already, I think it will be a great excuse to go and visit them one day (or hopefully they might visit me!)
You get to see more of the world: And surely that can only be a good thing right?! I got to visit seven different states in the space of 4.5 months because I went on road trips and travelled a little after my exchange semester ended. I now have a newfound love for the pacific northwest of the US and am definitely planning to come back. Anyone for a working holiday?
You will become addicted to travelling: I have always been a travel lover, but this has made it even worse. Whilst it’s great to come home and see family/ friends, I’m already thinking about my next trip before I‘m even home. It’s not a bad thing, but I’m not rich either so that means I’ll have to work hard to save money (and who enjoys working!?)
You get to experience university life in another country: For me, I felt that the university system in the US was a whole world different from Australia. In America, going to college is a lifestyle. They live there, they study there, they party there and they make their best friends there. Whereas here in Australia, university tends to be just an aspect of ones life. You usually live with your parents, most of your friends are still the same ones from high school and you attend classes a few days a week while working a part time job.