To go on exchange or not to go on exchange

Dublin, Ireland

Montreal is an amazing city so it could seem a bit extra to go spend a semester or a year elsewhere… but the benefits of going on exchange are pretty endless. If you have the opportunity to live, study, and make friends in another country, you should definitely do it. Now is the time.

McGill has relationships with so many schools across the world. Often, you can make arrangements to study abroad to most any school of your choice. However, specifically with exchange, you avoid paying those international tuition fees and you continue to pay your same tuition to McGill.

Explore any opportunities for scholarships, and plan to work the summer leading up to exchange to save up. Depending on your budget, that may eliminate some locations due to cost of living, like London, but the flights can be so so cheap once you get over there (bless Ryanair).

If you’re at all on the fence about going on exchange, here are my responses to some common objections.

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What we are not told about going on exchange

travel-pic

For most of us, if not all, going on exchange is seen as the opportunity to travel the world, meet people from all corners of the world and have the time of our life. I am not saying it is not that. But we are so excited that the arrival in your host country might be harder than expected. Here is what we have never been told about going on exchange.

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Planning your exchange

flagworldI’ve already been back home for a month now , interning in a hotel for 3 weeks, meaning I only have 12 days left before leaving for Australia on exchange. However, I still don’t know what I’m gonna do there. Classes start beginning of March so I’ll have a month to find a place to stay, visit and attend mandatory meetings. I am really excited to go there but also kind of scared. I mean, it’s a once in a lifetime experience but it’s on the other side of the world, far from anyone I know – from anything I know. And the process is pretty overwhelming: you have to figure out a place to stay, where to sleep when you get there, purchase a phone plan among many other things.

But the hardest part is: WHERE DO I WANT TO TRAVEL? (more…)

Broaden your horizons

75592_10152593595735204_1278313582_nIs there a country you have always wanted to visit? The one place you wanna go to in your life but never had the chance to go yet? Well, going on exchange can be this one opportunity! Choosing where you want to go is not easy, there are so many places we can go – where we want to go. The hardest part is to decide what your four choices will be and in which order. Then it’s a long wait. Wait for the faculty approval, for the host university approval… In my case the whole process took pretty much 11 months. But now I know Australia will be mine pretty soon and that’s all that matters! (more…)

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