Studying abroad is a great life experience for anyone who decides to embark on the journey. It’s full of twists and turns as well as unforgettable moments that will make you teary-eyed for many years to come. It is also an experience that many employers now look for in potential candidates. That’s because you are gaining skills that are valuable and desired as the world becomes more global.
Participating in an exchange programme as a Somali student is a journey that is rewarding. As dispersed as we are don’t be suprised to be the first Somali that some of the locals and even your fellow students have ever met or seen. Especially if you are studying in certain parts of Asia. Apart from what they have heard on the news or seen on Captain Phillips the Movie, their perception of Somalis is very limited. You might be embarking a new culture but we are also a new culture to many people. You will change perceptions whilst learning a new one.
More Somali students need to consider studying abroad; the world is becoming competitive. Making it even more difficult to find a Job once you graduate University. It’s not just about going to University and getting a degree anymore, it’s also about gaining outside experience. If the opportunity to Study abroad doesn’t arise, you can do other things. For example, volunteering, part-time work, internships or even starting a business venture in your country. Either way, you will gain skills you can ONLY gain outside of the lecture room, overall adding to your professional development.
If you are considering whether to study abroad for University or you are thinking of becoming an exchange student for the summer, a semester or a year; below are 4 main reasons why you should take the opportunity
Experience a different style of education:
Your time studying abroad will expose you to a different style of education. Taking you to a side of your major/degree you have yet not explored. This will open your mind to new ideas and perspectives.
Preceding your course in another country is supposed to be a refreshing and motivational experience. Hence why it is very important to choose the right country and school.
Experiencing a different style of education means you are also seeing how other students from different cultures learn and study. This perspective will help you gain study tips that you never knew of and might find useful.
Explore a different culture:
You are in a different country it is your chance to explore and immerse yourself in a new culture. It’s your time to do things you otherwise wouldn’t and get out of your comfort zone. This will surely give you something to talk about when you go back home to your friends and family.
You will find and discover incredible food, customs, and traditions in your host country. Helping you better understand and appreciate the nation and its people’s history. By the end of your course, you will most likely come back with a different outlook on certain issues. The whole point of the experience is to change you and make you become a better person, so embrace it.
3. Make lifelong friends:
The most exciting thing about studying abroad is the opportunity to meet new friends who are from your host nation as well as from different parts of the world. Together you will experience your host nation, the twists, the turns and all the Fun times.
You will be studying and living with your fellow students, which gives you a chance to really get to know them and develop long-lasting connections.
Learn more about yourself:
Like myself, the majority of Somali university students decide to live at home during the course of their studies. Due to this many of us don’t really experience what it is like to live away from home or what it feels like to be totally independent.
Therefore, a study abroad opportunity is a great way for you to experience TOTAL FREEDOM and INDEPENDENCE. Living in a new country by yourself will really test your ability to deal with problems and your capability to adapt to change. You’ll gain a wide range of valuable skills that will benefit you in your future career and trust me; you’ll learn to fully appreciate all the little things your parents and family do for you.
There isn’t any real statistics on the number of Somali students who partake in study abroad programmes. I suppose the number is small compared to other ethnicities. We shouldn’t miss out on opportunities like these. Especially if it’s being offered by universities at a massive discount or even for free for applicants who are selected.
There are many more reasons to study abroad, you should go for it, as the experience will be one you’ll always remember and benefit from. It’s important now, more than ever to be as active as you can be, exploiting every and any opportunity that comes your way. Build your professional portfolio and become the perfect job candidate.
As a summer exchange student, I was able to learn so much about myself in such a short period of time, I discovered skills that I never knew I had. If I could I would do it all over again.
If you have any questions or queries about my student exchange experience, don’t be shy to drop me a message at Management@thatsomaligirl.com.