Student exchanges as an excellent way to combine studying and traveling
Many students dream about visiting foreign countries but have no time for touristic adventures because of a high academic workload. But why not traveling and studying simultaneously? Countless exchange programs give boundless opportunities for this. You may taste life in a new world, in the surrounding of new people, get acquainted with their traditions and culture. This experience will stay forever in your memory and, of course, provide valuable knowledge on a chosen major, create a basis for further international cooperation.
Exerts from a custom dissertation writing service in the UK, have prepared the material which will help you understand what a student exchange is and how to take part in it.
Reasons to participate in an exchange program
Before enrolling in a foreign university, it is worth taking into account two important nuances. Firstly, you should know a local language well enough to understand what professors are talking about and not lag behind native students. Secondly, most educational institutions offer paid courses to foreigners, so you can arrange a learning trip all alone only if having a reliable financial base.
If it is impossible to pay for tuition and rent, participating in a student exchange program arranged by your university or some international organization may be a good solution. You will live in a foreign family when another person may live with your parents. Two sides will benefit such cooperation, which allows minimizing their costs.
Of course, such an unusual experience scares some young people. They are afraid of feeling uncomfortable in strangers’ house and missing homeland, being jealous of their parents taking care of someone else. Also, communication may be hard if a person does not know a local language.
But you will enjoy many benefits of leaving a comfort zone, first of all, enhance social skills and reach the level of a native speaker. In the future, it will be easier for you to make friends and negotiate business issues with different people. It is impossible to make tangible progress if doing the same things in the same places all your life. So if you still hesitate whether to take part in exchange program or not, believe, you will not regret it.
How to take part in an exchange program?
Here are several ways:
- to travel abroad under the patronage of your university;
- to find information about exchange programs on websites of foreign educational institutions;
- to participate in a competition and receive a place in an exchange program instead of a traditional financial grant.
Whatever option you choose, study the terms of a program, curriculum, list of free and paid services attentively. Try to find programs that are completely free of charge. They really exist, and the idea that only rich people can afford to study abroad is illusory. But, at the same time, you should not be vigilant in pursuit of cheap solutions. Do not contact authors of private announcements posted on the web. Double-check all information organizers provide.
You will have to fill in a questionnaire. It is not recommended to embellish your talents and pretend to be a better person than you are. Of course, lies about some skills and knowledge may attract attention to your application. But people will get disappointed when finding out the truth. Do not play with their feelings, and there will be no embarrassing situations.
Make sure contact data was indicated correctly so that a host family can reach you. When communicating with them, ask how they live and what is their motivation to participate in a program.
You are likely to be often asked about yourself in a new place. Taking into account a language barrier, it may be difficult to explain everything clearly and briefly. That is why we recommend preparing a short story explaining who you are and where are you from. It will help you to find friends.
Challenges to be taken into account
Apart from the advantages of exchange learning, you should also know about certain challenges it poses. These are not reasons to discard your dream but just incentives to get ready for possible inconveniences.
- It may be difficult to adapt to a new place, new people, their habits and views on life. Most students who have already participated in exchange programs said that they experienced nostalgia and wanted to get back home at times.
- You will not only have fun, visit different sights and rest as traditional tourism presupposes but also learn, spend much energy to show yourself as a diligent, talented student ready to meet all university norms and work productively in a new team. However, you can use a paper writing service and it will be easier to cope with all assignments.
- A language barrier may become an obstacle when learning new information. Even if you were studying Spanish for several years in the UK, you will not speak as good as native Spaniards, because there are many local peculiarities which are not discussed at British courses. Many phrases do not get to textbooks and dictionaries. Therefore, at the start of a program, it may be difficult to understand what surrounding people say and convey your own thoughts to them.
- The duration of a program will be rather long. Some students are afraid to stay in a foreign country for a year and would like to limit themselves to a few months. But such trip will bring no educational benefits. You will just have a good time, visit several museums and exhibitions. It is necessary to spend a whole year at a foreign university to receive profound knowledge. If you are going to complete your education abroad, nobody will give you a diploma after a few months. Therefore, an exchange program is not a thing that may be just tried and discarded if you do not like it. If you take part in this adventure, it is necessary to see it through.
We hope that this article turned out to be useful, gave you a general understanding of what an exchange program is and what benefits it can bring. If you are confident enough in your abilities, feel ready to cope with all the above challenges, use a unique opportunity to see the world and make your life brighter.
Studying abroad will open up great career prospects. An international diploma is always a symbol of prestige and a ticket to a big life. Potential employers will understand that you are not afraid of changes and ready to overcome some obstacles to reach goals set. These are very important character traits valued in any area and formed exactly in an unfamiliar environment. Good luck!