Valid passport? Check.
Enough clothes for 6 months? After hours of unpacking, repacking and sorting, I’m going to go with a solid maybe.
As I sit and type this, my mind drifts back to the months of preparation. I think of the research, the interview and writing my personal statement. I think of the check lists, the appointments and the phone calls. I think of the summers I worked and the extra shifts I picked up; the odd jobs and the short-term contracts. Words like “savings” and “TFSA” and “budget” thrown around and up until about a few years ago didn’t carry as much weight.
Above all, I remember being indecisive and worried. I remember feeling overwhelmed and doubtful. When you decide to study abroad, money isn’t the only factor of the equation. Studying abroad does give you the opportunity to travel, see the world and yes, find yourself. I’m not denying that all of these factors played into my decision to go. But before you sign your name on the dotted line, it helps to think about your long-term goals and career aspirations. Think about what you’re going to leave behind here at Ryerson or at the school you currently attend. Sit down and ask yourself, am I ready for this?
If you are in the middle of applying to go on an exchange or thinking about it, I invite you to come on this journey with me as I share honest thoughts about my life abroad. My name is Iriss, and I’m a third year Professional Communication student. I’ll be spending a semester studying Public Relations at Bournemouth University in Bournemouth, England.
I am incredibly proud and excited to be part of a group of Ryerson students studying abroad! I have read the stories of the students who have gone before me on this blog, and I am so excited to add to such a beautiful collection.
So please, stick around and get comfy! Grab a friend or two and some popcorn because I promise, you won’t be disappointed.