About the Author
Tabea Marie Nordhausen is a second-year IBCoM student. In her free time, Tabea likes to write, listen to music, and painting. This is her second year of participating in the Embrace committee as a writer, but this year she is also the Chairman of the committee.
By Tabea Nordhausen
Soon it is time for the people in their second year to go on exchange. A lot of things have to be figured out before leaving, like travel advice, visa, what to take with you, and whatnot. For now, however, it is still not confirmed if all exchange programs can happen. But let’s look at the bright side of exchange for now.
Going on exchange gives a lot of opportunities. Getting to know another culture, university, and new people. Exploring a new city and making new memories. It does not matter if you are an international student or not, the opportunity to go on exchange is an amazing way to finding new things to explore and eventually get to know yourself better. But I assume these are only a few of the reasons people applied and will apply for exchange.
Moving to another country and going to university there will teach you a lot about yourself and your own culture as well. Especially moving to a country that is far away will make you go out of your comfort zone. Although most of us are probably comfortable in that zone and would not want to leave it, getting out of it can be quite refreshing sometimes. Having expectations for exchange also plays a big role in the process. What can happen during exchange?
There is no way to have no expectations, obviously. However, you can choose how you let those expectations affect you and if you will let them take the overhand. It is better to start your exchange as a blank canvas, as John Locke described the human at the beginning of their lives. Let the experiences guide you within your exchange and enjoy what will happen in the process and what you will learn from it.
Try to learn the language of your host country while you are there. Getting to know languages is quite fun and will probably help you in the future. It is advisable to learn a few basic phrases in the language of the country you are going to, in order to be able to communicate, in case someone does not speak English. The Netherlands are an exception, not everyone speaks English everywhere. Therefore, it is always good to learn a few phrases here and there to get your way around the city. Most people will know English, but it is always good to be prepared!
Even if you do not go on exchange, the first half of the next academic year can be exciting. Both exchange and a minor give you the opportunity to explore courses outside of your study and make the best out of your last year as a Bachelor student. Exploring a different field out of your study is a unique opportunity to be surprised by a direction you did not even think about before! Who knows what the future might hold! Good luck with your minor or exchange and remember to enjoy it!