Student Travel Series #3: Why studying abroad is a life-changing experience
Hola! I’m finally back from my hiatus – weeks of studying for my finals. Summer holiday beckons and I cannot wait for my Philippines grad trip with my climbers and NZ road trip!
Today, we bring the spotlight on to Amy from Two Drifters, a blog that speaks of integrating love and travel together. Congratulations Amy and Nathan on being a newly wed!
1. What’s your name, age, occupation and country you are from?
I’m Amy, 29, from the USA, and I work online as a blogger, freelance writer, copywriter, and occasional web designer.
2. Why did you decide to study overseas?
I had visited Scotland on a European backpacking trip in 2011, and as soon as I got home I was eager to go back. But I was also eager to further my education and career. So I decided to do my Master’s degree abroad. In the UK, you can often do a Master’s in one year, while the same program would be two in the states. I applied to 5 different universities.
3. In which country did you study and how long?
I studied at The University of Stirling, Scotland, from September 2012- August 2013. The degree I received was a Master of Letters in English Studies.
4. Share a favourite photo taken while you were studying abroad!
5. Describe an unforgettable/ scary experience you encountered.
An unforgettable experience while studying in Scotland was heading north and experiencing the Scottish highlands. These rugged mountains are completely unchanged by time, and every fantasy film you’ve ever seen comes alive when you are there. The scenery is simply breathtaking, and the whole country is imbued with this ancient, mystical quality. It’s unlike anywhere else.
6. How did studying abroad make you change your perspective of life?
I absolutely loved discovering the little differences between Scots and Americans. Those two cultures aren’t very different at first glance, but each is filled with subtleties. It’s fascinating to note our differences in language, even in simple everyday habits. While I studied abroad I got a job working in the box office of a theatre. After my first day of training, I took my first phone call. Before hanging up I said ” Have a great day!” – pretty standard I thought. The rest of the staff burst out laughing saying how unique and “American” that sounded!
7. How did you overcome a challenge that you faced while you were overseas?
Adapting to a new system of education was a surprising challenge, as was my English program. My undergraduate degree is actually in Theatre, so I was thrown into this whole new world of literature and analysis. I had a great professor who helped me out so much and really believed in me. This was a great asset and I just learned and absorbed so much during my year.
8. What’s your favourite travel website, whether it be for travel planning or travel inspiration?
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?
1. You’re only young once, and you can really only do your college education once. It can feel hard to tear yourself away from your friends and the comforting familiarity of your home university, but studying abroad will be one of the most life-changing experiences.
2. Interact with locals as much as possible. If you have the option, live with a host family. This will stretch your boundaries and give you a more immersive experience than if you just stayed with other students from your university or country. Take advantage of every opportunity to learn and grow.
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 Amy’s story? Let us know below!