What made you want to study as an exchange student?
I spent last semester as an exchange student because I wanted to learn the language and culture of Spain. Specifically, I wanted to experience Spain’s relaxed attitude. My friend from my Judo team recommended Valencia, Spain due to its cheap prices, natural surroundings and culture. Moreover, I wanted to travel all across Europe during my stay.
What were the pros and cons of being an exchange student?
To start with the pros, first, being an exchange student gives less academic pressure due to its pass/fail grade system. This allowed me to have more time engaging with European people. I was able to experience their cultures and simply enjoy life. It felt like a vacation.
Second, I was able to learn the country’s language. As I interacted with local students, my Spanish improved significantly.
Third, I had more time and opportunities to travel. Traveling taught me many lessons in life while it introduced me to many great friends from all across the globe.
Fourth, my cooking skills have improved. I lived in a shared flat so I had to cook for myself. Being able to cook good food is a necessity.
For the con side, however, one can become lonely as everything is foreign and new. This sometimes discourages exchange students from being proactive.
Moreover, many universities do not offer a high number of major courses in English which can hinder one’s academic progress especially in regards to completing credit requirements. Hence, I was not able to take many courses in Spain.
Would you recommend it to other students? Why?
Yes, I would recommend the exchange student program. Many students, including myself, enjoy the best time of their lives. They make many good friends and memories. Additionally, it is beneficial in regards to education. Languages, cultures and vital life lessons are learned throughout the stay. I hope everyone gets the chance to spend at least one semester as an exchange student.