Say yes to everything (within reason!)
Why did you decide to study abroad?
Before I even applied for any universities I checked that they had a study abroad programme as I knew I wanted to spend a year of my degree elsewhere. I knew that it would be the perfect opportunity to gain confidence and independence (something that I knew I needed to develop!) As Genetics is such a relevant subject I thought it would be interesting to see the research going on on the other side of the world too. I also got to experience another form of university life and to be able to travel around one of the most beautiful countries in the world!
What were your top 3 highlights whilst studying abroad?
- Skydiving over lake Taupo on the North island of New Zealand with two of my best friends
- Going to the biggest pub crawl in the southern hemisphere, the Adelaide university Engineering pub crawl - thousands of students in matching shirts on the streets of Adelaide
- Visiting the second most beautiful beach in the world, Whitsunday beach, whilst on a 2000km road trip down the east coast of Australia!
What would you say to someone who was unsure about spending a period abroad?
GO FOR IT! I think everyone would be unsure as it is a massive undertaking, I definitely was having never even been on a plane on my own before and then suddenly I am flying to the other side of the world for a year. But there is plenty of support back in Sheffield and from friends, family and other ambassadors and I can guarantee you will have the time of your life and will meet friends who become family. I only returned from my exchange 3 months ago and am already planning a reunion in Europe with my friends from the US! I cried when I left for Australia but I cried even more when I had to come home!
What is the one thing you wish you'd known before you left?
That everyone is struggling! Instagram isn't everything and especially in the first few weeks you feel like you are the only one feeling homesick and not having the time of their lives but I can guarantee behind closed doors everyone has had a bit of a wobble at some point - it's making sure you seek support for those few down days. And say YES to everything (within reason!) - some of my best memories were made off the back of me just saying YES even if i was unsure!