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Exchange? Yes? No? - April 6th 2012, 05:00 AM

Hi everyone.

I'm in my 2nd year of university. I'm thinking of doing an exchange (probably France) in my 4th year. If I do, I would need to let my school know by the middle of my 3rd year

I've always thought I'd go (and that I'd want to do an exchange). However, lately, I'm not sure at all and I'm surprised. I love traveling and I don't have a problem changing places (which is due to the fact that I've moved around a lot)

I think the problem is that because I've moved around a lot, I've started getting really tired of it (always having to start fresh with people, always saying goodbye to them). This also doesn't give me a chance to actually get close to people because I will have to leave anyways. I don't feel that I have a stable group of friends. My friends tend to change sometimes because of the fact that I move. I haven't been in a place long enough to actually build trusting and long-lasting relationships (because of this, I feel lonely sometimes).

The thing is that an exchange would be great in the professional and language aspects.

But.......... I'm tired of moving
   
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Re: Exchange? Yes? No? - April 15th 2012, 02:05 AM

I can totally understand your concerns. =) My first question is, "How would this help you in professional and language aspects?" I don't know what your major and/or intended career are, so it would help if you could elaborate further. My second question is, "What's to stop you from traveling - for vacations/short periods of time vs. for studying abroad/long periods of time?" Ideally, when you're older, you'll be able to save up money and take some time off from work every now and then in order to travel the world. If you want to travel, but you don't feel college is the right time or place to do so, then what's to stop you from doing it later on, when you already have a solid career, friendships, and roots in your community?





   
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Re: Exchange? Yes? No? - April 15th 2012, 03:40 AM

I don't know what your major is but I'm assuming it has something to do with culture, history and linguistics. The most important questions you should ask yourself are how can this exchange help you and what does it offer that you cannot already learn at the university you're currently attending? If you don't have a great answer for yourself, then it's questionable whether you would benefit academically or socially. Regardless of your answer, there is another question, which was already mentioned by Robin: what is stopping you from traveling to France later on after you've graduated and secured a night sum of money?


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Re: Exchange? Yes? No? - April 15th 2012, 09:59 AM

I say yes to an exchange! It won't exactly feel like moving... more like an extended vacation as you're going to be going about as a student/tourist. I'm also planning to go on and change during my third year, it's just something that you'll remember for the rest of your life! You should definitely do it; it's not just the language and education you'll be learning, there's so many other factors to a study abroad that will help you later on in life. This will look great on your resume and all the friends you'll make in France will make the trip unforgettable. For me the answer's simple, you should definitely go!!!


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Re: Exchange? Yes? No? - April 15th 2012, 04:03 PM

I'm in a very similar position. I'm going on a 10-month exchange to England, beginning in October of this year. While it may be difficult to leave your friends, remember that you're coming back. I was hesitant to leave my friends, family, and boyfriend as well - but they've all been supportive. Your friends won't simply forget about you while on exchange. They'll likely be as supportive as my friends have been (many have said they plan to visit me).

With regards to how you feel about moving, I think an exchange will be a little bit different than you're used to. Why moving around constantly can get tiresome, travelling Europe is something much different. Just think - you'll have the opportunity to live and be educated in a different country. Not many people get that kind of opportunity. Moreover, when are you going to get this type of opportunity again? You won't. Embrace it while you have the opportunity.

An exchange can be so beneficial for an individual; in more ways than one. It can aid in the development and perfection of valuable life skills (i.e., being autonomous, independent, etc.). Furthermore, you will have the opportunity to change your perspective on life. This is huge. It's so important for young people in today's society to go out into the world and learn about what's there. Moreover, there are many career benefits as well. I've spoken to numerous students who have gone on an exchange in the past and every single one of them said that their exchange was brought up in their job interview.

Embrace the opportunity while it's available. Sure, you may feel homesick at times. Perhaps, there will even be times prior to your departure where you feel nervous/anxious about going. But remember - it's a fantastic opportunity for you to grow as a person. Don't worry about your friendships back at home. If they're true friends, they'll stick by you throughout the time you're on your exchange.

If you have any additional questions, feel free to ask.

Good luck.


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Re: Exchange? Yes? No? - April 16th 2012, 01:34 AM

Well, think about it this way... Will you be disapointed if you don't go?- This is a big chance, and I know what it feels like to say no to something because you let your "what if?"'s ruin the chance, and it's not fun (luckily for me, the people called me over and were like, we were looking forward to you getting in, sending in your letter, blah blah, and in the end, I'm going on that trip!)

If their really friends, they'll do the "long-distance" friendships, I have a bunch of them, sure, unless you really put the effort into talking on facebook and such, it kind of gets really well, not much of a friendship. But, it's almost just as good if you guys stick to it!

I hope you make the best choice, for you. If it gets hard, maybe you should write a pros and cons list, and then consider why those things are pros or cons.


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