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studentfocus February 11 25

Living and studying abroad... an opportunity to jump at! By Monica Franzini, ABE Business Development and Marketing Executive

Studying in a foreign university or college is a decision that a lot of students all over the world are taking more and more often. Getting a diploma, a degree or a Masters abroad is more prestigious, more valuable on the job market and more lucrative in the long term. Deciding to study abroad is defi nitely not an easy choice, but is an opportunity to jump at because it will give you the chance to grow both personally and professionally.

Why study abroad? ● Discovering a new culture. Living abroad will allow you to be in direct contact with the culture and traditions of the host country, as well as to explore the country you live in and visit many beautiful places.

● An international experience. While studying in a foreign country you will meet people from all over the world and from different cultural and religious backgrounds who can be important contacts for your future career. You will get the chance to spend your free time with your new international friends and open your mind to different perspectives.

● A long term investment. Studying abroad can be more expensive but it should be considered as an investment for your career and your future. Once you get back to your country, your CV will be enriched by an extraordinary experience that will be a great benefi t for your professional career.

● Improving your language skills in the country you study. Foreign languages are now an indispensable requirement. In today’s international economy more and more companies ask for a fl uent knowledge of at least one foreign language and it is important for young people looking for a job to have knowledge that is not just school-based but which has also been improved with a period of study abroad.

● An extraordinary opportunity. At the beginning it might be diffi cult to settle down

as you may encounter many diffi culties when fi rst moving to a foreign country: you will miss your family and friends and you will have to rely on yourself for everything from food shopping, cleaning and clothes washing to paying the bills on time, but living and studying abroad is an experience that will develop your personality and your nature further. You will become more responsible and independent and will have the chance to do things that your friends at home could only dream of.

speaking German, the fi rst semester was absolutely great and I found the new way of studying interesting and more stimulating than the one I was used to in my country. I passed all the exams in my study plan and my German improved enormously. I missed Italian food and lifestyle at the beginning, but it didn’t take me long to meet loads of other local and foreign students like me who were also looking forward to bonding with new people. I still managed to be in contact with my family and friends through the internet, Skype and emails, but my new life was so busy and exciting that I did not have time to think about that too much. Dinner parties, barbecues, international nights and trips all over Germany are only a few of the great things we did all together. I have to admit that both the study and social aspects of my experience were awesome and that at the end of year I found myself being sad about leaving that place, the campus where I used to spend my afternoons and all the great friends I made through my year abroad, which I will always be grateful to have done, and I thank my parents for their fi nancial and moral support.

Having lived and studied in both Germany and the UK myself, I can defi nitely say this is something everyone should do once in their lives. I started my adventure abroad fi ve years ago thanks to the Erasmus Programme, a European Union student exchange programme which allowed me to spend an academic year at the Univertität Stuttgart, Germany. That was the fi rst time I left Italy and my parents’ home to live in a foreign country. At fi rst it was both exciting and worrying; I had always wanted to study abroad but at the same time I was worried I couldn’t understand lectures properly or would miss Italy, my family and friends too much. Despite my fear of making a poor showing when

This experience had such a strong impact on me that I was not the same when I went back to Italy, and really wanted to do something similar in another country. Once I fi nished my degree I could not wait to go abroad again. Moreover, I had always wanted to study in the UK, so I decided to look for a Masters that could give me the possibility to specialise in the fi eld of studies I was interested in, improve my business English skills and live in a cosmopolitan city. I fi nally opted for London South Bank University, located right in the centre of London. I found my MSc useful and challenging at the same time, and liked this city so much that I decided to stay after my course ended. I got a job in London and after two and a half years I am deeply in love with the atmosphere of this amazing and multicultural city, which gives you so many opportunities to grow up and take the most of it!

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