I am sure you have all heard from one person or another at some point in your life “study abroad in college, its a once and a lifetime experience!”. I know I had several aunts who told me year after year about their exchange experiences and how I HAD to do it once I was in college. At the time I found it a bit annoying and just wanted them to leave me alone, but now that I am a study abroad vet it is my turn to nag. Study Abroad! It will change your life!
I spent this last semester living in Sydney, Australia studying at the University of Sydney. I can without a doubt say it was the most exciting and rewarding 5 months of my life. I was able to meet people from not only Australia, but around the world. I was able to live in one of the best and most beautiful cities on earth. I swam with Nemo in the Great Barrier Reef, climbed a volcano in Indonesia, and Bungy Jumped off a 144 meter platform in New Zealand.
I am not going to say every day on exchange is like vacation, because it's not. Some days will be hard and some days you will want to step back into your comfort zone. Being away from home made me learn a lot about other people, but it also taught me a lot about myself. It widened my perspective on the world, and gave me sense of how the world views me. It taught me that being away and putting yourself in new and uncomfortable situations is not always easy, but that often the greatest rewards come from our greatest challenges.
-- Maggie Flynn