1. What’s your name, age, occupation and country you are from?
Hi!! I am Cheryl, 24 years old, currently a final year student in Singapore!
2. Why did you decide to study overseas?
For me, it was an easy choice as I’ve always wanted to go overseas for exchange. I felt that it was a good chance for me to widen my perspective and experience and immerse myself in other cultures.
Also, I wanted to escape from the busy mugging lifestyle for a while and use this chance to rediscover myself and learn how to be more independent.
3. In which country did you study and how long?
4. Share a favourite photo taken while you were studying abroad!
This is one of my favourite photos taken in Budapest because my friend was trying to take an “unglam” shot of me but the effect turned out much better than she hoped it would. 😛 Also, the view was simply amazing!
5. Describe an unforgettable/ scary experience you encountered.
The incident happened when we were going back to our Airbnb apartment after a day out and it was pretty late in the evening. As we were unlocking the front door of our block, we heard a huge commotion behind us. We turned around to see a middle-aged man dragging a teenage boy away from us and we heard him shouting and urging us to go in and shut the door behind us.
Afraid, we did as we were told! Upon closer observation from a safe distance, we realized that the teenage boy had a bag of controlled substances in his hands and he was trying to tailgate us into our block to consume them!
We were really, really scared and went to lock all our doors and windows as we were staying on the ground floor.
It was a scary experience for us as we could have been robbed or attacked if not for the kind man who protected us, and we are very thankful to him, even though we didn’t get to find out his name.
6. How did studying abroad make you change your perspective of life?
I realized that there is so much more to life than being in a rat race and chasing the same thing that everyone else is chasing after.
Some people have so little to begin with or have lost so much in their life, but their spirit of never giving up is really something commendable and the morals in their life guides them to become better people than most of us.
We need to slow down and really enjoy the little things in life, like a beautiful sunset or a simple act of kindness from someone around you. It’s what really matters.
7. What was the best thing that happened to you on this trip?
It has to be being able to travel around Europe with the best travel partner I could have. I must admit there are days where conflicts are bound to happen but I am thankful to God that I have the chance to travel with my boyfriend.
To be able to share the experiences together, having a shoulder to lie on when I am tired and feeling safe because he is right beside me makes everything more memorable.
8. What’s your favourite travel website, whether it be for travel planning or travel inspiration?
We read a lot of travel blogs for tips for our travels and one of my favourite is Rick Steves’ Europe blog that has tips on where to go and plans available for you if you are doing a short trip in a certain country or region.
9. If you had 2 tips you could share from your study abroad experience to students feeling apprehensive about taking this leap, what would they be?
Keep your mind open. Don’t travel with pre-conceived judgments of the people and place. Instead, interact with the locals and you might be impressed with how many nice and helpful they are.
Always make proper preparation for your trips. Read up on the culture of the country you are intending to visit and learn a few important phases that will be helpful to you as you navigate around. Try to eat where the locals eat as that is where most of the good and cheap food are at.
Lastly, always be well-prepared for any situation, keep your belongings close to you and have fun!
Student Travel Series seek to showcase travel stories from students, for students. The aim of this series is to inspire more youths and students to take the leap and discover a world outside of your own!
What do you feel about Cheryl’s story? Let us know below!