Exchange destination: Ewha (Seoul, South Korea)
Duration: 2 semesters
High school: Westside Secondary School, Orangeville, Ontario
One word to describe your exchange?
Indescribable, unless you have experienced exchange first hand no description will do it justice.
What is the worst thing that happened while you were on exchange? How did you deal with it?
While away from everything familiar it’s very to become overwhelmed with independence and loneliness. I became closed in and anxious in new situations. Confiding in exchange students, who were experiencing the same things, was a great source of comfort. Through this challenge I developed stronger independence and adaptability, which I am grateful for.
How did you finance your exchange?
I financed my exchange through personal savings, OSAP, student loans, and scholarships from UWindsor. Aside from unique travel costs, exchange costed a surprisingly similar amount to what I pay for school at UWindsor, making it possible to reasonably finance without panic.
What is something that you know now, that you wish you knew before you went on exchange?
I wish I understood the warning of romanticizing your exchange destination, and expectations of preparedness. I thought that I saw through my tendency to romanticize, and that I was prepared for any surprise. However, after arriving and meeting holes in my expectations, I realized that I had been a little too overconfident in my preparations. It’s important to remember that your problems from home will not be solved by moving to another country. It will be a wonderful and life-changing experience, but grievances will follow you wherever you go, I forgot this while preparing. Expect the unexpected. Don’t fear it, but don’t underestimate it.
If you were to recommend exchange to your best friend, what would you say?
I promise there are excellent and unimaginable things waiting for you if you break out of your comfort zone. If you’ve wondered what was out there, or wanted more from life, go on exchange. It’s hard to imagine just how different the world can be if you haven’t left home, but regret will be the farthest thing from your mind.
How are you including exchange on your resume?
Exchange deepened my resume by adding cultural relevance in an ever globalizing work sphere.
Is there anything else you would like to share?
Visit Michelle, preparations for international exchange are not easy, but help is available along the way. Exchange shifted my priorities, my awareness, and helped me develop as an individual. It was enriching for me academically and personally, and can be so for anyone willing to take a chance.
A sample of the classes taken and credits received:
Social Psychology = 46-236, Therapeutic use of Music on Human Behaviour = 46-2XX
Introduction to Korean History = 43-297
Took the opportunity to learn basic Korean = 2nd year Arts credit