Study Abroad Diary: Hannah Burnett Post 6
Student experience 15th July 2020
I’ve been back in the UK for a few months now, with my exchange in Singapore ending 6 weeks early because of the global pandemic. Despite this, I still managed to make the most of semester 2 at NTU. Some of my courses were cut short with no further assessment, some which were delivered online or with 100% coursework were relatively unchanged and some courses were adapted for online assessment. My exchange year has been the best time of my life so far!
My advice to anyone who has the opportunity to go on a foreign exchange and has thought “maybe I should go?” would be to apply and just go for it. It could be a once in a lifetime experience. Don’t stress too much if you don’t know where you want to go or if you don’t get your first choice. Each exchange destination has different things to offer, whether that be academic or cultural, so you will always be able to learn or experience something new. Another great part of exchange is being able to meet so many different people with unique perspectives and backgrounds.
The majority of people on exchange have an amazing time but some might struggle with adjusting to a new country, academic system or being away from friends and family. If this is you, don’t be afraid to talk to people. There are staff at Manchester and your exchange university who can help as well as your fellow exchangers. I personally took advantage of the wellbeing centre at NTU so it is nothing to be ashamed of.
The best way to make the most of your exchange is to find opportunities and activities that you don’t have at home. Explore the culture and the celebrations of your exchange country. Be open to learning and personal growth. Try new foods and drinks, even if they look disgusting at first, you may find your new favourite meal!
Having lived in Asia for a few months, I am now extremely open to living and working abroad in the future. I would love the opportunity to explore more incredible places and cultures and meet more fascinating people!