BY HUDA AKHTAR, THIRD YEAR STUDENT IN HUMAN RESOURCES, TRSM
What people don’t tell you about studying abroad is that you’ll want to go home about 2 days into your trip. No one tells you how hard it really is settling into a place you have absolutely no prior knowledge of. People don’t speak of the first week you arrive into your chosen city, they don’t mention the restless nights thinking about how you’re going to manage your commute, your work – your stress piles up.
BY SHANNON TINNING, 4TH YEAR STUDENT IN ENGLISH, FACULTY OF ARTS
I have never been an impulsive, or a decisive person. Deciding between what colour of sweater to purchase, or mustering up the courage to select a unique menu item, instead of chicken fingers, fills me with immense anxiety. Before departing for my exchange to Edinburgh, Scotland, I came to the realization that I would have to escape my finely crafted comfort zone in order to fully capitalize on this once in a lifetime opportunity, and not return to Canada filled with ‘what if’s’ and ‘I wishes’.
And no, getting a tattoo is not on this list (sorry grandma).
Living the exchange student lifestyle in Frankfurt, Germany, was an indescribable experience, saturated with joy, adventures and travels. But along with the blissful, memorable moments came mistakes and chaotic situations that simultaneously turned out to be great learning experiences.After embracing the perks and pitfalls of studying abroad, here are my top recommendations for anyone preparing to venture upon the exchange journey.
By Jackie Jabson, 4th year Student in Creative Industries, FCAD
6 months. That sounds like a lot of time, but it goes by faster than you’d think. Time is of the essence. It sneaks up on without you noticing. One day you’ll wake up and it will all be over. The reality of it is that exchange is only a small fragment of your life. That’s why soaking in every bit of the experience will ensure you won’t be left feeling dissatisfied with it.
I traveled to Denmark for my student exchange and stayed in Copenhagen for 6 months. I discovered that there is always a shortage in time. It is up to you to make the most of it in this foreign and magical place. How long is your stay abroad? 6 months? That is 26 weeks or 4,380 hours. Take note on some of these tips to help make the most out of your exchange.
Studying abroad at one of Ryerson’s exchange partner universities is a great opportunity to gain international experience, learn a new language, meet new friends, and immerse yourself in a different culture. One of the most important aspects of going abroad is to start planning and saving money well before your journey begins. Not sure where to begin? This post will get you started!
Doug Furchner, Program Coordinator of Ryerson’s free financial literacy course, RU Debt Free, explains that all the lessons covered in the course syllabus are applicable well beyond the borders of Canada. The course covers the basics: budgeting, banking, bank accounts and saving, credit basics, paying for school, and life after school. In preparing to study abroad, using simple financial planning tools can make a huge difference. Doug recommends that if possible, take this FREE course before going on exchange.