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Why Going on Exchange is Good for You

Group of students posing in a library wearing flags of different countries

Nishwa Chaudhry

by Nishwa Chaudhry

2nd Year Student in International Management

It’s almost a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity presented to you.
No – it’s not only just presented to you: you are actually encouraged to take it.
The opportunity to experience new countries, new cities, new people, new everything.
And it’s handed to you on a silver plate by the University of Ottawa.

The International Exchange Program may sound daunting but the opportunity to go abroad for one semester (or more) during the school year is something that most students may not have the time to do after graduating. Or ever. Sure, there’ll be potential vacations and travelling in the future but the sense of being independent and living alone in a foreign country among places and people that you’ve only ever seen on screen or paper or heard about is uniquely different. This is perhaps the only time in your life when you will experience such a mixture of wonderment and exploration.

The great thing about this, is that this is not a luxury, nor selfish. The University of Ottawa encourages students to participate in the program, to experience what others have called “a life-changing period” in their lives.

That sounds like a pretty good deal to me.

The opportunity peer out the window every morning to catch a glimpse of the Eiffel Tower.
The wonderment of watching the sunset in the late hours of Budapest.
The joy of going for your daily run in the bustling streets of Milan.
The amazement at the architecture in Amsterdam.
The excitement discovering the Singapore University of Technology and Design.
The breeze in your hair while biking in New Zealand.
The smile on your face as you take your first bite of a Belgium waffle.

That is the beauty of an international exchange.