Do you want to study abroad or do an Erasmus exchange semester but still need some good reasons to take that step? Well, I’m here to do some convincing because from my experience I can just say, doing an exchange year was the best I could have done for myself and for my career. And because I think everyone can benefit from studying abroad for some time I want to give you six reasons why you should do a semester abroad. Are you ready to get convinced? Okay, let’s do it!
Some of the background information is very German related as that is the country I study. So, it might be a little different for you, if you study somewhere else. Just check with your university or ask some people who’ve done an exchange semester. However, the reasons you should go abroad are counting for everyone. It doesn’t matter where you’re from or where you are studying, going abroad and studying in a different country is a great experience for everyone. So, keep reading!
First of all, let me give you some background information about my studies so you can have a better impression how I came to find those 6 reasons I’m about to share so worth mentioning. As you probably could have guessed from this blog, I am a beloved traveler and wanderlust has completely taken me over. Therefore, it was no doubt for me to do an exchange semester. Studying abroad for some time for me was only another, very easy way to get away from home and discover the world. My university has two systems for students to apply for an exchange semester. TUMexchange, which goes worldwide and Erasmus, which is only for Europe. To get a sponsorship at TUMexchange is very hard as there are so little places available and you have to have very good grades to get in. That is why I wasn’t surprised to get a decline on my application. However, I thought I could at least try. Right? Erasmus works a little different and there are much more sponsorships available. The coordinator of my university told me almost everyone who applies for Erasmus gets the place at least at one of the universities he or she applies for. I will share some more detailed information about how Erasmus works and my experiences in Lisbon in another post once I’ve finished my time abroad. However, to apply for Erasmus you can make about 4 suggestions for universities you’d like to go. I picked only two. Bath and Lisbon. I got into Lisbon, which was my first choice. I was pretty thrilled, as you can imagine.
By the time half of the exchange semester was through I decided to do a second one as I loved it so much and couldn’t imagine going home again and study there. Studying in Lisbon is so much more fun! Doing a second semester abroad is something not everyone can do. You have to check with your university and the partner university as well as check you study plan if it works. More on that however, in another post. As you can see I’m absolutely happy with doing an exchange year. There’s really nothing better I could have done. And while I truly understand that some people can just not imagine doing one because they don’t want to go away from home or have some other reasons, I also think that most are just too lazy to put in some effort or too scared to take that step.
Now let me tell you, your worries are completely non-sense. There is no reason to fear going abroad. You won’t get worse in your grades. No, you’ll even get better grades with less effort. My brother had a solid 1.0 score in every exam during his studies in Shanghai without spending even half as much effort on studying. And yes, it might be a little bit of paper work, but once you’ve passed the first overwhelm and got a sense of what is to do – a great guideline really helps – it’s pretty easy. Unfortunately to my disappointment, most universities don’t provide such a good guideline. Most of them are very confusing and not at all helpful. But wait for mine, maybe it’ll be better. Also, don’t let money be a reason. I know for some it is, but don’t forget you get Erasmus money and you can always apply for Bafög, at least if you’re from Germany. However, I’m sure there’s something similar in other countries too. As you can see, I have an argument against almost any doubt you have. So, if there are any more, feel free to send me a message on Social media or on the blog and see what I have to say about it. And now, let’s see what I think are the main reasons you should do an exchange year.
While I can’t deny, and for some people that is a turn off, studying in a different country at a different university will bring a lot of different content to your study plan. Of cause to get the sponsorship you’ll have to pick classes similar to those you would have at home. However, the focus and way of learning will still be different. But in my opinion this is great. You not only learn about how it is to study in another country and therefore experience the pros and cons of studying itself and studying at your university compared to the partner university. But also get insights into how your subject is being thought somewhere else. You get the chance to look into a different focus that you have at home and you will learn more things about your subject on the international market.
Doesn’t that sound amazing?
Studying abroad can really help you to build international connections. You will meet professors and students from all over the world and get to know them, get to work with them. Use that time to build relationships and maybe there’ll be someone who can later one help you out.
To get that benefit you don’t necessarily have to study abroad, but it is for sure the easiest way to experience how it is to live in a different country. You get basically paid to live abroad. It’s a great test run for everyone who’s thinking of moving away and it’s for sure a great experience for everyone who’s not as you will learn to appreciate the great things of your home and maybe also see what things should be changed.
It for sure is a big step to move away from home into a country where everything is unknown. Different language, different culture and no one you know. Stop being scared. That wasn’t the purpose of this point. I know it’s scary at first and some people let that fear hold them back. But not you! Take that opportunity to step out of your comfort zone and experience great personal change. You won’t be alone for ling and the city that at first seemed so unpredictable will soon be like home turf. So, take on that challenge and push yourself further.
Like I’ve already mentioned in the beginning. Doing an exchange semester definitely is the best way to travel cheap. As an Erasmus student, you won’t have as much obligations as you’d have at home and you for sure don’t have to study as much. So, a lot of free time to go explore and travel. Also, the sponsorship will most likely cover a big amount of your regular costs like rent and food, so you’ll only have to spend money on things you like to do besides living.
I saved the best for last. Of cause studying abroad is all about having a great time. We, especially if you’re from Germany, but I guess it’s the same in many countries, get pushed so much from such a small age. We always get told to do good in school and work hard, we get pushed from grade to grade and don’t have time to take a break if we’re not insisting on doing one. So, take that opportunity to take a step back and enjoy yourself. Enjoy life. Enjoy your studies and enjoy being young. By doing an exchange semester you’ll have to study less, have more free time while still having good grades. You will have the opportunity to travel for very little money while still doing something for your future. Isn’t that a win, win, win situation?! So, no matter what doubts you had in the beginning of this post, I hope by now most of them are gone and you are certain about doing an exchange semester now.
However, if you still have some, please, feel free to reach out and let me find more personal reasons for you to go abroad. I’d love for everyone to have such a great experience like I did with my year of studying abroad.
If you liked that post and found it valuable, please feel free to share so we can both convince more people of doing an exchange semester.
Also, I can’t stress it often enough, please reach out in Instagram if you have any more questions or need some advice.
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