by Greta Gibbons, University of Warsaw, Poland
It’s now been over 6 months since I finished my year abroad and I miss and reflect on it daily. It really was the best year of my life so far and it taught me so many things.
Firstly, it was such a great chance to improve my confidence and independence as I had to move out of my comfort zone to a new country I’d never even visited before, without knowing anyone or being able to speak the native language. Also, deciding to live alone was a great way to become more independent and confident as I only had myself to rely on. Things like navigating a new transport system, a new campus, a different way of teaching and overall life required extreme perseverance.
Also forcing myself to meet new people from all different countries and cultures was really eye opening for me, it especially made me realise that I should try and learn a second language as most people I met had at least two, usually more.
My year abroad also encouraged me to see more of the world. I spent a lot of the year going on short solo trips to different cities. This was incredibly character building and gave me a love for exploring new places and being comfortable doing so on my own.
Most importantly, this experience taught me to go for opportunities that present themselves. Studying or living in Warsaw was never on my radar but when Covid got between the rest of the places on my list and it was the only option available, just going for it and giving it a chance was the best thing I ever did! I’ve made so many friends and had many cool experiences that would not have been possible had I been too picky.
Last year helped me figure out who I am and what I want to do going forward. It also made me really appreciate Manchester as I missed it very much and couldn’t wait to get back.