I have been on my exchange now for exactly 19 weeks and time certainly flies when you’re having fun! I normally study Primary and Outdoor Education at Worcester, however, since August I have been doing exchange at Malmo University in Sweden.
It’s coming close to a year since I started my application to do a year abroad and I was given two options:
Option one – A 24-week placement from January – June (one semester)
Option two – A whole year (aka third year abroad) from September 2018 to June 2019 between my second and third year.
With these two options in mind, I gathered more information by collecting the exchange abroad programme book (available at the University of Worcester First point), talking to my lecturer and the Study Abroad Coordinator to discuss if was possible with my course and finding out where I could go to. After this then the main priority was research for example:
- How will it benefit me as a student and what impact will it have on my degree?
- Why chose a year abroad?
- Can I afford it financially?
- How will it impact my family and friends?
- What will my new city, culture, course and accommodation be like?
My personal experience of applying for my third year abroad was a bit stressful. I felt like I had a lot of things to juggle, but in the long run, I was very appreciative of all the research I did. The knowledge my research gave me meant that I found settling in to a new country a lot easier. Before you can do a year abroad you must complete an application form and interview, but it’s nothing to worry about when you have read up about where you are going beforehand!
The staff at The University of Worcester were really useful, as they have guided me through the entire process, for example: selecting modules, funding, whether or not you need a visa, organising the final departure session and they have been available while I’ve been abroad to ensure it all runs as smoothly as possible.
I’m nearly at the end of my first semester and travelling here was one of the best decisions that I have ever made. Even though I had many worries prior to temporarily leaving Worcester – whether it was possible, financial issues, studying in a completely different way or simply feeling home sick- I would persuade anyone who has the opportunity to complete a semester or third year abroad to do so. Studying abroad is one of these experiences that you can’t really plan or explain what it’s going to be like because it’s so unique. I guess it changes a lot of things too because for the last 19 weeks I have sat with strangers from all around the world that I now can call my friends and house mates. Also, everyone’s opinions about how to spend your exchange are different. Some people say it’s all about studying, others partying, but what we all know is that time is limited because it flies so quickly. Therefore, we’ve drank together, laughed, cried, partied hard and travelled more than ever imagined and used every single day and every hour to create memories that will last with us for the rest of our lives and I guess that’s what exchange all about is.
Blog Author: Molly Lydia Shaw. Molly is Studying Primary and Outdoor Education BA (Hons)