Considering taking the plunge and bidding farewell to Swansea for a semester or two? Here are a few points to mull over with a cup of tea and some biscuits.
You have the opportunity to create new friendships that will blossom under the unique circumstances you’ll find yourself in. The bonds you make on your year abroad will likely be stronger than most and will flourish over the year.
Many of the year abroad programmes that Swansea has to offer feature a chance to live in a foreign country, giving you the opportunity to pick up an unfamiliar language. Grasping a new language statistically increases your employability by 74 percent; even when only learnt at a conversational level.
One of the most rewarding aspects of your year abroad will be your ability to travel to new places and experience different walks of life. During your time off from studying, you will be able to explore neighbouring villages, cities and countries that surround your host university, which will ultimately alter your perspective of the world as you immerse yourself in these different cultures.
At the beginning, you may experience some feelings of loneliness when you’re sat alone in your bedroom. Whether it’s missing a home cooked meal from your mum, or a pint with your mates down the local, you’ll experience some homesickness. However, this is what will ultimately push you to create those new long-lasting friendships due to other people going through the same experience.
The change in surroundings and your own personal routine may seem overwhelming at first. This is the time to take a few breaths and practice some mindfulness – remind yourself of the bigger picture and why you decided to take the plunge in the first place. If you find yourself really struggling, you are always able to contact your year abroad coordinator back at Swansea, who will be able to set up any counselling sessions you may need to help you on your journey. Remember, you’re not alone on your year abroad, and a new adventure is waiting for you.
By Lauren Lewis