Anyone who’s been on an international exchange has described it to me as a life changing experience. I wanted to find out if this is true, and what the benefits of studying an international degree might be. I spoke to…
I wanted to hear a bit about Rianna’s exchange experience, where she went to Japan for 11 months. She said she was completely out of her comfort zone sometimes, having to communicate only to locals in tiny local villages.
“Once you start going to the countryside in Japan, very few people can speak English so there was a lot of sign language that went on. It sounds difficult but to be honest, it’s just like a holiday but you come out with so much more. I was constantly trying to find different ways to communicate,” she told me.
For Rianna, her exchange was actually a part of her double degree.
“My favourite subject – it’s surprising that it’s even a subject – was my yearlong exchange to Japan. It was the most rewarding subject that I’ve ever done.”
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There’s a lot to be said for travel in general but doing something like an exchange not only gives you more life experience but can set you apart when applying for jobs.
I read a survey that looked at the long-term benefits of going on a university exchange.
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I asked Rianna if she agreed.
“I ended up doing an internship in Jakarta, Indonesia, and in every interview that I ended up doing, that was a huge selling point for me. So many prospective employers were really interested with anything to do with [travel].”
Rianna landed a very competitive graduate role at AMP Capital and told me that her international experiences (internship in Jakarta, exchange to Japan and teaching in Thailand) were the main reasons she got the job.