Exchange Ambassador - Sabrina R.

Sabrina R.

Destination: University of Essex, UK 

Duration: 2 Semesters 

Program: Creative Writing & Psychology 

Highschool: Holy Names Catholic High School 

​What is one word that you would use to describe your exchange experience?  Altering 


How did you finance your exchange?  

I had been working at a local business since I was in high school, so in the year or two before I went on exchange I asked for more hours and responsibility to prepare me for the independent lifestyle I would be adopting overseas. I also knew that I wanted to go on exchange since I was in high school, so I had been putting small increments of money aside for several years. 


What languages do you speak?  

Only English! Thankfully, I didn’t experience too many boundaries while living overseas, but I learned the benefits of being able to communicate in other languages. I also saw the beauty in being able to expand one’s vocabulary and understand the cultural significance of native languages and the histories behind them.  


​What is something that you know now, that you wish you knew before you left for exchange?  

You are far more capable than you give yourself credit for. This is definitely a new experience so inevitably you will hit some obstacles, but you aren’t going to fail at the first sign of trouble. There are so many services set up to help you have your best experience abroad, and more importantly, you will have plenty of people who are available to support you.  


​If you were to recommend exchange to your best friend, what would you say?  

Why not? There is nothing like the experience of studying in another country on exchange. I became an entirely different person through my year abroad, in the best way possible.  


How have you included exchange on your resume? 
Most definitely. It’s a great talking point in interviews and shows off a side of you that doesn’t always translate through work or academic experience.  


​Is there anything else that you would like to share?  

Be communicative with the exchange office about everything - your concerns, your questions, what you hope to do while on exchange, etc. Be smart about your money, but don’t be scared of it.  Budget practically, keeping exchange rates in mind. As long as you’re aware of your means and how you are managing them, there is no reason you should be worried about affording your experience. 


A sample of the classes taken: 

  • Approaches to Film and Media (credit for CMAF 1400) 
  • Judgement and Decision-making (2nd year psychology credit) 
  • Text Up Close: Reading for Criticism (credit for ENGL 2029)