Have you ever studied abroad? No? Then try! Yes, try, no matter how old you are. It is not always necessary to study for a degree, you can just take a 2 week language course or a course on topic you are interested in: cooking, sailing, painting etc. Do not have enough funds? Save some money and/or apply for a scholarship. Ok, the main point is: if you really want something, it will realise, I will tell you this time my story, how it happened with me.
Being passionate on everything international, I always wanted to study abroad. First chance arose when my school organized exchange visit to a German school in Bremen. I really wanted to go, but my mum did not want me to, as she considered that if I go, then our family will have to accept a German student, but we did not have a guest room in our flat. So sadly I did not go. Sadly, because it turned out that if you go, you are not obliged to host a German student in your home.
During the last years of high school I started thinking about studying at the university abroad. I was researching all the countries in the world, reading a lot of different specialized magazines, I was really well-prepared. I was full of enthusiasm, so I found some universities abroad I really liked and was going to send there application. I had good marks at school and was an active student, so I was planning to apply for scholarship provided by the university.
Finally, I study abroad, huraa!!! Erasmus
Almost all documents were ready, when one day I had conversation with mum, saying that it probably would be better to postpone my application, as at that particular moment my family would not be able to support me. I was always careful with the finances and did not want my family to spend on me, so I was planning to apply for scholarship and explained this to my mother. Her reply was that scholarships are given to “friends of friends” or to “super students”, and in order to avoid later delusion, it would be better not to apply. So I did not.
After I graduated from the high school, I applied to one Latvian university and got accepted. But I still was looking for the international opportunities. And I found! Erasmus student exchange! There was a tough selection procedure, but I managed to secure a place (I was also given a double scholarship) and was studying for a semester in Trier, Germany. More on my Erasmus experience you can read in this article.
And this was just a start! Actually still while I was at high school, I did study abroad twice for 3 weeks each time – English language in the UK. But going abroad for 6 months was something different. After finishing the university in Latvia, I got a job in London, and after working there for couple of years I have decided to study for a Masters degree. Where? Again abroad! J I was researching different opportunities, I have got accepted in 5 universities out of 7 I have applied to, and in the end I have chosen Bath University, as it had the most international programme – it gave a possibility to study in 3 countries. In the end I have chosen only 2 – Bath, UK and Siena, Italy, but still it was a great experience.
Is this the end?
Now what? After living and working in Rome for 3 years, I moved to the North of Italy. Due to my new job go abroad regularly. Did I stop studying? No, I took part in several personal development courses and two of them I still have to finish. I do not think to do a PhD anytime soon, however can I miss an opportunity to learn new things abroad? No way! So what will be my new adventure? Subscribe to Happy Abroad and you will find out! 🙂