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Studying overseas: the adventure of a lifetime

Snow-lined streets on the walk to Lund University

University is like anything else in life – the more you put in, the more you get back.

You could just go to your classes, complete your assignments and exams and leave it that. Or you could give it all you’ve got and find out where in the world your thinking could take you.

While venturing outside your comfort zone can be daunting, especially if you haven’t travelled before, experiencing a different country and culture really does allow you to benefit from the power of thinking for yourself.

Stepping off the plane and into a new learning environment pushes you to challenge old habits. Whether it’s working out how to use the currency, ordering a meal in the local language or enjoying the sites around you, travel is an experience that widens your perspectives and helps you to learn who you truly are away from familiar comforts.

Student exchange

Our Murdoch Exchange Program is one way students can study abroad for one or two semesters. With over 50 exchange universities in over 20 countries, the hardest part might be narrowing down your destination wish list!  

Daniel is currently studying Games Art and Design and decided to complete a semester abroad with his partner Alexandra, who’s also studying the same course.

“Going to Austria has been a highlight. The friendships we made there make me think about the world a lot more than I normally would. I also saw snow for the first time over there. It was incredible because it began snowing overnight, and when I woke it covered the entire landscape.”

Alexandra agrees that her study abroad experience was a standout in her degree.

“A highlight of my course was absolutely my study abroad experience at Salzburg University of Applied Sciences. During my semester, I went to classes in a building made of glass, hiked in the mountains surrounding the city, travelled to nearby cities and countries, learnt some German and took part in many traditional festivals and celebrations.”

International work experience

Lucy is completing a double major in Criminology and Security, Terrorism and Counterterrorism and she also spent a semester abroad. Along with making new friends, the experience gave her an international perspective on her area of study.

“I spent six months at San Diego State University and I did work experience at various juvenile detention facilities across San Deigo, including at East Mesa, a maximum security facility for boys and girls near the Mexican border.”

For students like Lucy interested in getting professional experience overseas, individual short courses are a very popular option. Past students have enjoyed French Immersion in New Caledonia, Creative Writing in Oxford, Biodiversity in Peru and internships in North America, Europe and Asia.

Course-related experiences

if you're interested in international travel experiences linked closely to your degree, check out the School-led Study Tours on offer. Lucy was also lucky enough to travel to Mumbai, India as part of the New Colombo Plan scholarship, but the scholarship also enables students interested in sustainable tourism to travel to Hokkaido, Japan. Lucy’s advice to interested students is to apply to every program you’re interested in, as you never know what you might get into.

“I’ve gone on these amazing overseas trips and done incredible things and it’s purely because I thought I’d just give it a go.”

You may even have the opportunity to take a compulsory unit and turn it into a life changing experience. Many courses requiring a practical placement offer the option to take the placements overseas, for example Nursing, Veterinary Science and Education students have the option to take ‘pracs’ in South Africa, New Zealand, Europe and Asia.

If you’re already part of the Murdoch community, we encourage you to check out the options available. Make sure your passport is up to date because you never know where in the world your thinking could take you.

Posted on:

26 Sep 2018

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