Mountain scence in Alberta, Canada

July 12, 2022, by Jackie Thompson

Stand Out From the Crowd With International Experiences (Part 2)

Do you aspire to be a global graduate? Want to enhance your employability while travelling the world? Dreaming of an international career? 

If yes, then studying or working abroad during your degree can help you on your way. Two students talk about their time abroad and what they’ve learned. You can also read about Charlie and Daria’s experiences in Amsterdam and Zurich. 

Lauren McNeil, Chemistry with an International Study Year

Lauren McNeil standing by a road in Canada
I chose to study abroad to broaden my academic and cultural experience. I have always enjoyed travelling and exploring different countries. My year abroad at the University of British Columbia in Canada gave me an amazing opportunity to live for an extended period in a new country, allowing me to fully experience and immerse myself in the culture.

Studying in Canada

I had an incredible time during my year abroad allowing me to develop as an individual in many ways. Travelling independently encouraged me to use my initiative when organising flights, applying for visas, and setting up a foreign bank account. It also developed my communication skills as I would frequently make conversation with the local people to ask for advice and with my classmates to discuss my studies. Furthermore, interacting with new professors and adjusting to a different teaching style at the university made me a more adaptable and versatile learner.

While on my year abroad I joined the athletics club at the university. Being part of a sports team allowed me to meet like-minded friends who made me feel very welcome and this helped me to settle in quickly. I also travelled with the team to competitive events in different cities within Canada which provided a great opportunity to explore the diverse cultures across the country.

Highly recommended

The prospect of moving abroad to a new country can be daunting but I certainly don’t regret my decision and I would highly recommend it to any student considering it. It has been an eye-opening experience that has made me more resilient and confident. It has allowed me to broaden my friendship group and to form new contacts with academics should I wish to pursue further study or work abroad in the future.

Olivia Conroy, English

Olivia Conroy skiing
Studying abroad was always something I wanted to do during my time at university, and having started my degree in September 2020, all I wanted to do was get outside. I applied to switch from Nottingham to the University of Zürich, Switzerland for the spring semester of my second year and it was the best choice I made.

Studying in Switzerland

At first, I felt very lonely, as I hadn’t realised how difficult it would be to make friends. Once I gained confidence and started putting myself out there, I met some great people who I travelled to Italy and Germany with. Studying abroad, I quickly realised is challenging, but the effort definitely pays off. I was able to experience different things that I wouldn’t have otherwise.

I studied German, attended Swiss celebrations, and I learned how to ski. As well as this, I met like-minded people from all around the world and heard about life in countries I hadn’t visited yet. I had to balance my studies and adapt to a different university structure than Nottingham, but it certainly made me plan well in advance of my deadlines. Studying modules I would not have been offered in Nottingham was excellent, having different histories taught to me from a Swiss perspective rather than a British was so interesting.

Life in Switzerland has been crucial in teaching me adaptability and forward-thinking, which I have taken forward in the rest of my degree in Nottingham.

Inspired to find out more? Visit the Study Abroad website. When you return, talk to us about how you can present your experiences on your CV, application form or at an interview to help you stand out from the crowd.

Posted in Choosing Your CareerWork experience