Top Reasons to go on Exchange!
Experience a New Culture
Living in a foreign country is completely different to a holiday, and it really gives you a chance to immerse yourself in the local culture, make local friends, experience international cuisine, celebrate traditional customs, and learn the history of another country. Not only will your experience studying abroad expand your worldview, you might find that some previously held beliefs about your new country will change! And remember, in an increasingly globalized world, cross-cultural communication and intercultural sensitivity are becoming vital skills, and individuals who possess them are in high demand!
Gain a Global Education
While abroad, you’ll have the opportunity to experience new ways of learning and access different academic opportunities. Not only will you have access to some of the top universities in the world, but you’ll also have the opportunity to experience different teaching styles and learn to think outside the box! Your host university may also offer subjects or modules that would be unavailable at your home institution, and many students upon returning use these subjects as the basis of their Capstone project or even further studies after they graduate. It goes without saying too, that your experience abroad looks great on graduate school applications! It is also reported that mobile graduates are more likely to obtain first-class honours or an upper second-class degree (91.6%) than non-mobile graduates (80%).* * Gone International Report 2019, UKHEIU
Hone Your Language Skills
You may have heard it before, but total immersion is the best and fastest way to learn a new language! Whether you’re studying languages at Trinity or maybe you want to brush up on your high-school French, or you’ve decided to study abroad in South Korea and learn a new language from scratch, then going abroad will significantly increase your confidence and linguistic skills! Not only will you be able to connect with the culture more, but you’ll be surrounded by local news, radio, tv, and will be using these language skills on a daily basis!
Improve Employability Prospects
Most of the skills you gain on exchange are transferable and employers will be interested to hear about your experiences – don’t be surprised if this question comes up often in future interviews! Time spent studying abroad is proof that you adjust well to new environments, that you are agile, flexible, open-minded and have a global mind-set. Not only does it look good on tour CV but going on an exchange enhances your network, and connections that you make abroad may lead to future internships and job offers! The statistics speak for themselves:
- Students who go abroad get better degrees and better jobs: they are more likely to gain a first-class degree, less likely to be unemployed and, if in work, more likely to be in a graduate job. Just six months after graduating, mobile students earned higher average salaries than their non-mobile peers*
*Gone International Report 2019, UKHEIU
- 3 in 4 former Erasmus+ students say they have a better understanding of what they want to do in their future careers when they return from abroad.
- 9 in 10 Erasmus+ alumni say they make use of the skills and experiences acquired abroad in their daily work
- 40% who did an Erasmus+ traineeship abroad were hired or offered a job by their host company.
Travel and See the World
One of the benefits of living and studying abroad is having access to travel like never before. Whether you’re living in Europe and choose to go inter-railing to see as much of it as you can in a week, or you’re living in the States and choose to road-trip down the Pacific Coast Highway or travel across the country along Route 66 or you’re living in Australia and choose to fly over to Bali for a tropical weekend, there will be plenty of travel opportunities during your time abroad. Keep in mind that you will be surrounded by international students eager to explore so there will be an abundance of organised field trips, excursions and travel buddies from day one!
Make Lifelong Friends around the World
While studying abroad, you’ll make some new and special friendships that will last a lifetime. Whether it’s someone from your course or from Trinity that happens to be on the same exchange, or you make friends with locals or other international students, these connections will last a lifetime! In fact, 1 in 5 former Erasmus+ participants even say they met their partner during their Erasmus+ exchange! With such an international network of friends, you can rest assured you’ll always have a couch to crash on wherever you go in the world and reunions will always be fun and exciting!
Find New Interests
When you go on exchange, you’ll begin to discover a lot about yourself – as cliché as it sounds, no one comes back from exchange the same person as they were! This is a chance for you to really try out new things and put yourself out there. Your new exchange destination may offer opportunities not available to you in Dublin – whether it’s skiing in the French Alps or surfing in Australia, don’t be afraid to try new things! Don’t forget to also join clubs and societies in your new host university!
Coming back from exchange, you and even your friends and family might not recognise who you have become! During your time abroad, your way of seeing the world will most likely be challenged more than once. You’ll learn to break out of your comfort zone and challenge yourself with uncommon experiences that make you reconsider (or strengthen) your values. You’ll get a better sense of who you are and what’s important to you and may even discover what you want out of life! It goes without saying that you’ll also develop new skill sets – you’ll become more independent, self-reliant and self-sufficient, you’ll build up your self-confidence and build resilience, you’ll gain invaluable life experience and become a more rounded individual!