Written by Joel Sheasby
Moving to another country is a massive leap for anybody, however it is an exceptionally enjoyable and rewarding experience. I moved from Canada to Australia to study dentistry, and here are a few reasons why I think you should consider studying overseas.
1. Getting to do the course you really want
The decision to move to Australia came off the back of a rejection from universities in Canada. With being unable to study dentistry close to home, travelling abroad was the best option for me to pursue this career.
Also, applying to more universities, whether they be domestic or international will increase your chances of being accepted to at least one of those programs. Applications might be expensive for some of the institutions but the investment in yourself is well worth it.
Another factor is that different programs are offered in other countries. For example, undergraduate dentistry is not offered in Canada, but is offered in Australia. If you look around, you might find the program of your dreams that just isn’t offered in your home country.
2. The opportunity to live in a new country
Studying abroad gives you an opportunity to leave home, whether it is temporary or permanent. With the limitations of many careers, and challenges with visas, it can be difficult to get to live in a new country. University is a perfect opportunity for that. You are committing to be away for the length of your studies, and after that you can choose to stay or move closer to home if you miss mum’s cooking. Just make sure you look up the laws for your profession, and if you will be allowed to stay after your student visa expires.
3. Establishing and growing interpersonal relationships
When you move to a place that is completely foreign you are forced to make new friends and professional connections. Social interaction is so important both for your sanity and to enjoy your time abroad. Everybody I have met has been incredibly welcoming and understands that when I moved, I was on my own and far from home. I have met a lot of amazing people through my studies, my jobs, and my hobbies which has made me feel well integrated here in Australia.
Moving abroad has also helped me strengthen the relationships I have with my family. Video calls, and Facebook messenger have made it incredibly easy to stay in contact regardless of the distance. Some relationships with friends in Canada have faded away, but other friends I chat with very regularly, and I’m sure they are ready to welcome me back home whenever I get there. Being so far away has really shown me who the people that care about me most are, and I value their continued friendship that has withstood almost three years apart.
4. A chance for a fresh start
Studying abroad is the perfect opportunity to uproot your life and start somewhere new. Whether your life feels stagnant, or you just want to branch out to see how things can be different, the experience will be completely unique to what you have seen before. Leaving the comfort of what is familiar to you can be scary, but you don’t know if there is a better lifestyle for you until you go out and experience it. And if things don’t pan out, your life back home will be waiting for you if you choose to go back.
5. The weather!
The weather might seem like a minor detail, but it is one of the biggest differences that reminds me that I’m not in Canada anymore. In Australia, the sun is hot and the winters are warm, even in Orange. This has allowed me to have certain hobbies like camping, running, and mountain biking that I am able to do year-round. In Canada, what you can do outdoors is highly dependent on the season, but in Australia the mountain biking trails aren’t covered in snow for four months of the year.
For many Australians it will be the opposite experience. Studying abroad gives you the chance to live somewhere cold, experience the snow, and have a white Christmas in December. As far as activities go, skiing and skating are far more accessible in different climates.
Whether or not you are seriously considering studying abroad, I suggest looking into the options that are out there. You may find that the life you always wanted is waiting for you just a plane ride away.