Home (but the journey continues)

I thought that going abroad was going to be the biggest change in my life this year. But since returning, things are still continuing to change. I have started an internship with the University of Manchester over summer, and in turn, my first full time, professional job. I have lived completely alone for the first time – including setting up all the heating, internet and meters in the house!! And finally, (here comes the biggie) my parents made the decision to move to New Zealand.

I feel as if this year hasn’t just been a monumental shift within myself, but my family too. And without studying abroad, I wouldn’t have been able to handle all the things that I have listed anywhere near as well as I have. I’m not going to pretend it’s all been easy, but I have coped and thrived and grown up rapidly in the space of a few months.

I used to be so afraid of change – making the decision to go abroad was not one I took lightly, and I’m not sure I ever truly believed I was going until I stepped off the plane in Toronto. But now, I can feel myself embracing it; my parents are moving to the other side of the world and I could not be more excited for them (and for myself too!)

By studying abroad I  proved my ability for independence to myself and to my parents, and I don’t know if they would be moving if I hadn’t gone. The decision to live abroad affects not just you but everyone you know, and if it affects you positively, chances are it will affect them positively too.

I am working with the international office on my internship, and I cannot express how rewarding it has been to be involved with the process of encouraging students to study abroad, and being able to pass on my experience and passion to them. I wouldn’t have had this opportunity in this internship, and met the amazing people I have, and gained the life experience that I have, if it wasn’t for studying abroad.

If you haven’t already got the message – go! Study abroad! You will gain a lifetime of memories, experiences and knowledge and grow so much as a person – and this doesn’t stop on your return. And hey, who knows – your family might move to the other side of the world and give you a new place to explore.

(Cape Reinga, New Zealand. The top of the north island, where the Tasman Sea meets the Pacific Ocean)

NC Chapel Hill: Reverse Culture Shock

By Emily (North Carolina, USA)

When I was told about this I silently scoffed at the idea. How could anyone not be comfortable with returning home?

And yet here I am only days after returning home not feeling fully happy with my environment. For those using this blog to help gain an insight into study abroad, I apologise as this will not feel relevant to you until after you return home. This won’t be relatable to many but yet it is here anyway.


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What an amazing year it’s been!

By Chloe Coradetti, Mechanical Engineering, The National University of Singapore, Singapore.

Helloo Manchester,

Aaaand it’s the end of the year already?! What? Have I time travelled forward? How did it go so fast??!! …

Well, the answer probably lies in all the fun I had this year abroad and the fact that South East Asia is so diverse that it is impossible to feel like you’ve managed to “do it all”.


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Longest Buddha Statue in Malawine, Myanmar (CNN Travel)

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Welcome Home

Those that read my last blog will know how much I wasn’t really looking forward to going back to the U.K. The sting of going back home was dimmed a little, as i undertook a 2 and half week venture into Canada, starting in Vancouver and ending in Toronto. During this time I met up with some friends i met on my exchange abroad and family members that i haven’t seen in years. I was taken paddle boarding round Vancouver city, to Whistler for Canada day and to the Calgary stampede (one of the biggest Rodeos in the world). Its fair to say i had a great time.

Now I’m back, I really want to be in Australia again. I’m actually getting jealous of friends that have graduated and are making there way over to Australia to begin there journey, even though I had the chance to live there for a year.

I was however greeted with some fantastic weather, with temperature reaching upwards of 30 degrees. This made me feel slightly better when I received a video of an Australian friend, showing the hail and rain that was ensuing in Perth. Some of the first people I met up with were actually, a group of Australians, I lived with that were travelling round Europe for the summer, which was nice for me and they were enjoying the sun.

Seeing family and friends was nice, although I find myself bored already, it actually didn’t take long for my mother to recognise this. Im trying to keep myself busy seeing friends, training and sorting out dissertation work, but i think i really need to get back to Manchester to get into the swing of things again. I need to have that routine back in order to keep myself occupied and not think too much about the year I’ve just had and left behind.

This was only a short blog just to give an insight of how things are back home. I will update you all further when i actually get back at Manchester and back into my 4th and final year!

Is it home time already?

By Emily Privett, Geography, Queen’s University, Canada

Everyone’s heard of the cliche ‘time flies when you’re having fun!’ and before I went on exchange, everyone was telling me that the year would fly by and I’ll be home before I knew it. I didn’t believe them then, but now that I’m reaching the end of my time in Canada, both of those phrases are all too true.

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