Why you should go on a year abroad
Maggie John, Features Editor, reflects on her year abroad: why it was the best year ever, and why you should think about moving too.
Moving abroad is a funny thing. It’s scary and daunting, but so exciting at the same time, and with that wonderful thing called hindsight, I can honestly say it was the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done, and the most fun I’ve ever had. I wish I could go back in time and tell myself that, because when my parents dropped me off at St. Pancras, on a rainy morning in July, I really didn’t think I’d be able to do it. Even though I’d been looking forward to my year abroad for as long as I could remember, how would it live up to my life in Exeter?
I distinctly remember being in the car with my host-dad and as we crawled out of Paris and into the suburbs, I decided it was all too different, but it was okay because I would be back in the green, green grass of home by the end of the week. Little did I know that by the end of my first week, I would have begun to find my feet, and that by the end of my second week, I would have made two new friends who I’d go on to spend the summer with, and who would have thought I would cry a lot more when I had to leave Paris, than I did on that rainy July morning in St. Pancras – how lucky am I that all of that was just the beginning.
I can honestly say it was the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done, and the most fun I’ve ever had.
A friend asked me the other day, “What was it like living abroad?”, and the only word I found to sum it up, was epic. Of course, it was incredibly challenging at times, thanks to language barriers, homesickness and finding your feet in an unknown city, but the upside of that exceeded all my expectations and more.
So, if the opportunity presents itself and you have the chance to move abroad, grab hold of it with both hands, and don’t let go until you’re going to sleep in your new bedroom, wondering what this next chapter will bring. Yes – it’s scary and daunting, but I promise you won’t regret it: the hardest part is always starting.