For how long did you stay abroad?
Why did you choose to learn abroad?
I chose to learn abroad for a combination of personal, academic and professional reasons. For personal reasons, I knew I wanted to travel and experience living in a different culture. Additionally, for academic reasons – the host institution I attended (Sciences Po) is known internationally as one of the top school for Public Policy and Political Sciences (my field of study), and finally, I chose to study abroad to help gain connections for my professional network as post-graduation I hope to continue my career abroad.
What are the specific skills that you learned or developed?
A major skill I would say that I developed was adventure, I normally am hesitant to try new things, but being abroad for a such a short period of time made me not want to miss out on any opportunity or experience, which helped me to develop a taste for adventure. Additionally, a combination of skills that I learned was to be strategic and organized, these skills were used when I was packing to visit a new part of France, when I was planning the activities I wanted to do while abroad, and when I think of my safety while being abroad. That being said, there are definitely times when things do not go as planned and knowing it is normal is all apart of the experience.
What benefits did you get from the experience?
Major benefits I gained from going abroad was connecting with Alumni’s from Toronto, I highlight this as one of my favourite experiences because I got to visit their office and see what the professional world looks like in Paris. Furthermore, experiencing other cultures and travelling Europe was a personal goal that I wanted to do and was fortunate to gain from my experience abroad.
Please, name 2 challenges that you faced and how you overcame them in your experience.
A challenge that I faced initially was the language, French is not my first language and I was very nervous to speak in French. I overcame this by taking a french class, and practicing speaking the language with people at school and then outside of school. A second challenge I faced was budgeting, when you are planning for your trip, is very easy to directly convert, but euros are actually a bit more expensive than Canadian dollars. How I overcame worrying about spending too much, was creating a budget and sticking with it, filling it in weekly in Paris helped me to stay on track.
Would you recommend learning abroad to a friend? Why?
I would absolutely recommend learning abroad to a friend, you will never get the same opportunity to travel and immerse yourself in a culture different than your own like the type of experience you get when learning abroad. You get to meet classmates from all over the world and learn from world known professors. Furthermore, it is an incredible opportunity to live in a different city than your own.