When the idea of exchange was initially floated past me, there was a sense of excitement, knowing that this was not just any ordinary holiday but a real chance to immerse myself in another country’s culture and live on my own for the first time. In the end it turned out to be more than just that, throwing myself in the deep end of travelling having to catch overnight busses, almost missing flights, and some days of extreme discomfort.
As I got to travel through 11 countries in the span of 6 months, I got to meet some amazing people and understand how much Crocodile Dundee shaped the outsider’s views on Australia. Funnily enough, the most satisfying part of the journey was not getting to see the big landmarks or music festivals but really just sitting in a town square with a coffee and watching people go about their daily business in cities where cars are so rarely used.
At the end of the day though, the most important skill I learned throughout the exchange semester was not something in the classroom, but rather how to connect with someone, even if a language barrier or age gap was present and for that I will be eternally grateful for having the chance to study abroad.
With international travel still not close in sight, I figured it might be a good time to whip out more overseas tales. My uni friend, Gautam, spent 6 months in Amsterdam “studying” and travelling around Europe. Hear his tales...