For many BCIT students, we tend to go to BCIT for the job prospects after graduation. We focus on getting our diplomas/degrees and go straight into the work force. I was set to graduate this past June with four courses left but decided to go abroad and I haven’t looked back since. Here are my top 3 reasons why any student should go on exchange:
During my semester away, I took German at a beginner level to be able to learn the basics of the language. By studying abroad, you have the opportunity to practice the new language and apply your skills in your daily routines. Also, with the people you meet in your classes, chances are they know other languages as well so you may be able to pick up more than one language. I’ve discovered that the best way to learn a new language, is to immerse yourself in the culture.
While studying abroad, I constantly found myself outside of my comfort zone. One thing I found that I was able to do, was travel solo. There were places I wanted to see but not everyone had the same schedule as me and I didn’t want to miss an opportunity to see a new country. So I took the leap and booked my first solo adventure to Bosnia. From that experience, I got to meet other people and learn more about myself.
Opportunities to Travel
Flying to Europe from Canada isn’t cheap, especially if you don’t have the luxury of time to see more than a few countries. Plane tickets within Europe are reasonable and it allowed me to utilize my weekends and holidays to see other parts of Europe. I have definitely been able to see a lot of Europe during my time on exchange—currently 17 countries and counting—with a month left of backpacking before I come home.
If you are on the fence about going on exchange at BCIT, I would highly recommend you to go! During my time on exchange, I kept thinking about how lucky and fortunate I was to have this opportunity. Some key points I would recommend is to apply for as many scholarships as possible, and save up money. Nothing is worse than being on exchange and not able to participate and fully enjoy the experience.
It’s bittersweet with exchange ending soon since I won’t be able to regularly see the new friends I have made, but it doesn’t mean it’s a goodbye forever. It also means I get to come home and see my friends and family.
Leave a comment below if you have any questions about going on exchange. I am more than happy to share more about my experience with you or answer any questions!