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Exchange Ambassador - Meagan B.

Profile of Megan's time on exchange in the UK - plain text to follow

Meagan Beaton

 

Exchange destination: University of Derby (Derby, England, UK)

Duration: Winter 2017

Program: Forensic Science

High school: Sandwich Secondary High School, LaSalle

One word to describe your exchange?
Life-changing

What is the best thing that happened while you were on exchange?
I embarrassed myself... A lot. But, it surprisingly made the experience better. For someone who’s as socially awkward as I am, it was a nice way to learn how to laugh at myself. Also, making the best of terrible situations made me realize that I was stronger than I thought. I liked that I could overcome obstacles on my own (or with some help from many organizations put in place for exchange students).

How did you finance your exchange?
I saved up money from previous jobs, and used OSAP to finance my exchange. I believed that exchange was too expensive for me. However, changing your outlook is key in making an exchange work. If this is something you really want; budget responsibly, make a few painless concessions, and enjoy your time! Also remember that exchange is a rare opportunity so don’t forget to take advantage of those once in a lifetime moments that might cost a bit more (Taking the railcar to go cave exploring? Yes please!).

What is something that you know now, that you wish you knew before you went on exchange?
It’s okay to be scared, wrong or hurt. I spent most of the first few weeks fighting my feelings about missing home. I just sort of learned to talk about it and realized that a lot of the other exchange students were in the same place as me. Everything is so new and in the beginning you feel brave to even leave your new dorm. It’s hard adjusting, but once you do you’ll never want to lose that kind of life experience.

If you were to recommend exchange to your best friend, what would you say?
You’ll have problems, and you’ll have bad days, but it’s precisely those things that change you. Exchange taught me that there’s so much more that I can be. It forces you to be strong, outgoing and responsible. There’s more possibilities and fascinating ways of life that you’ll never experience unless you weave yourself in the fabric of the city. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity and it is certain that you’ll learn, grow, and change.

How are you including exchange on your resume?
England is a leader in the forensic science field and it opened opportunities for applying to Master’s degrees in the field, which are not available across Canada. Also, I’ve found that most people on exchange that put the effort in, will do well. If good grades are important to you and you can multitask you’re travelling with assignments, than you will be perfectly fine. I ended with an 90+ average while on exchange.

 

A sample of the classes taken for 3rd year Forensic Science credits:

  • Introduction to Crime Scene Investigation

  • Crime Scene to Court

  • Forensic Imaging