Last year I studied abroad in New Zealand. When I now tell you about my experiences, I want to look away from all school stuff and rather focus on emotions because I’m just that kind of a person, sorry.
I read about an employer once who said that he would rather see people’s travel photos than their grades, and that is one of the loveliest things I have read. The grades we get on the exams are most of all a result of last-minute intense studying of things we will forget a year later anyway. But the things you learn from travelling and exploring the world are things you never forget.
I was terrified when I left. All of the new, weird and stressful things that happened was enough to freak me out, especially when I woke up after the first night in New Zealand and realised that my lung had collapsed. Oh well. Shit happens, but I survived, and I have become a braver person than I was before.
During the months I spent abroad I have created some of my best memories. I have gone kayaking, swum in glacier water and in hot springs, lived on a sheep farm and spent days and nights in the beautiful nature – waterfalls, turquoise water, mountains and long beaches. Last, but not least, I have met amazing people that have changed my life forever.
So what have I learned? Yes, I have learned something about phylogeny and legumes and invasion of pampas grass, but most importantly I have learned how to be a better human being. I don’t think I can ever be the same again, and I don’t want to either.
That’s why I recommend everyone to study abroad. Not for the academic’s sake, but for your own personal development.