If you read my blog from time to time, you would know that I had a chance to study abroad for 2 years. The first year was in Bolzano, northern Italy and the second year was in Karlskrona, Southern Sweden. Each year gave me different experiences and those 2 years changed me from a person I was.
I still remember the day that I got an email informing that I was awarded the Erasmus Mundus scholarship. After that day, it was a preparation phase. I had to prepare and send the documents to the university in Italy, apply for visa, book the flight ticket, and find the accommodation. I did it all by myself (of course, with the help from the university officers).
On the first day in Italy, everything was new and different from where I came from. I was not familiar with the train system in Italy; I missed the train. And, I was so tired with the long journey.
On the first week, I had to go to tax office, open bank account, and apply for residence permit. I signed my name on many documents that I did not understand them at all (the documents were in Italian language).
Studying abroad is not just about study. It is also about how to live independently. I had to do laundry and cook by myself. And all these things took me about a month or two to settle down. I did miss my home town, family, friends, and food.
But, do not get me wrong. At the same time, I really enjoyed my time abroad. I met friends from several countries. We communicated with English language which is not my mother language. We learned and exchanged culture from each other. Involuntarily, I became more mature and self-confidence, and at the same time I got to know myself more. The experience there changed how I see the world and things in life. Studying abroad changed me to be a better person in several ways.
I would not say that studying abroad is a must-experience in life, but it is an experience that is not to be missed if you have a chance. It is not a very happy experience, but you will learn!
Have you ever studied abroad? Did it change you to be a better person? Share your experience with me in the comment!