Spending a semester on the other side of the world was the best thing I have ever done in my life.
I’m from Belgium, but I spent the first semester of my last year of high school in Canada. This experience was a personal victory and by stepping out of my comfort zone, I really broadened my horizons. So I would recommend that everyone takes up any opportunities to study abroad and here are just ten reasons to convince you:
Learn a new language
There is no better way to learn a new language than by being dropped straight in it. It might be challenging in the beginning, but it doesn’t take very long to start feeling comfortable and see an improvement.
Learn about another culture
When you’ve been living in another environment for a while, you can really see the differences to your own home. You’d be surprised by all these little things you don’t notice on a normal holiday!
Discover new kinds of food
Every country has its own specialities. Maybe you’ll discover your new favourite food! You will also have the opportunity to teach your friends and host family how to cook some food from your home country.
Become more independent
Travelling on your own takes a lot of courage! You’ll have to make decisions and cope with situations you have never faced before.
Learn new skills
By going to a different school, you can learn different things. You could join a sports team or take a course which might not be available in your school back home.
Appreciate your home country more
Being away from home will make you realise what you appreciate about your home country so much. You will miss the things that you have always taken for granted.
Make friends from all over the world
I would say that this is the best part of an exchange. You’ll meet people from many different countries and there is no better way to learn about other cultures. Sharing a unique experience with other people of a similar age will result in strong, long lasting friendships.
Learn about yourself
It may sound cliche, but it’s true. By stepping out of your comfort zone, you discover things about yourself that you didn’t know. You might discover things that you like which you never had the chance to do before. Also, you realise what you miss and find out what really matters to you.
Get to know another place
Getting to know a place which is different from where you grew up is very special. This place will always feel like a second home. Whenever you go back there, it won’t feel like a regular holiday, but like home.
Take this experience with you for the rest of your life
Studying abroad is a once in a lifetime experience that you will carry with you for the rest of your life. It changes your view on the world and makes you think outside the box. There is so much more than the town where you grew up!