Hear from Go Global alumni who have travelled, studied and experienced all parts of the world!
- Find out why you should undertake a Go Global program
- Gain first-hand information about host universities and host locations and what it's like studying and living overseas
- Learn about the benefits of an overseas study experience
- Understand how to immerse yourself into a new culture and way of life
- Find out how you too can change your life and make an impact!
Raksha - Online Internship with Think Pacific
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Edgard - Kyung Hee University, South Korea
Keiran– Erasmus University, The Netherlands
"There will be few, if any times in your life where you will have such an amazing opportunity to meet such a variety of people from such an array of countries who all share the same interests with you. It's quite incredible how quickly you form bonds with people when you have all been thrown into a foreign environment. It sounds cliched because everyone says it, but on my exchange I made friendships I know will last a lifetime!
Whilst I was always excited about the prospects of exchange, I must admit I was worried about how it would effect my degree. In particular, as a law student, I was concerned that the subjects I studied overseas wouldn't be directly relevant to my degree. However Erasmus University in Rotterdam, being located next to the Hague and within Europe's largest port specialised in International Law. I learned about International Economic Law from WTO advisers, and visited the International Peace Palace library to see centuries old texts when studying the History of International Law, I learned about the subtle differences between French, English and German and Dutch law by trading notes with French, German and Dutch students. I can't think of a single period of my life where I was exposed to more new ideas and ways of thinking than my six months at Erasmus.
My exchange wasn't without its dramas. When I managed to break my arm after slipping on ice on only my second day in Rotterdam I definitely felt a long way from home. I was very grateful for all the help and support I received from the exchange staff both in Sydney and in Rotterdam.
I've done a lot of worthwhile things, and had a lot of great experiences at University, but my six months in the Netherlands certainly tops it all."
Elisabeth – University of Copenhagen, Denmark
Going on exchange was the best decision I made during my degree. I met incredible people, learned another language and came back home a more open and confident person with a clearer aim in life. It was beneficial for my career because it led me back here to begin a Masters in Cognition and Communication. It's one of the best universities in Europe, and I feel so grateful to Western Sydney University and the exchange for making me aware of this opportunity. All my subjects are in English and I like how interdisciplinary research is encouraged.
The city feels like a fairy tale, especially with its distinct seasons. Right now, there are chestnut trees everywhere, apple trees grow wild and leaves are falling like confetti. My favourite place to chill is a bridge over lakes with swans, where every afternoon friends gather and watch people cycling past. Before I went on exchange, I wasn't sure I was making the right decision. My advice is don't focus on why you think an exchange is not right for you. There are more reasons why it's a great idea than you can imagine, and the international office is there to help you make it happen.
Ashley – Keele University, UK
Living away from home is one thing, but doing it in a different country is a whole other level. It's like you reach this entire new stage of independence. Being a solo backpacker and now an exchange student, I've really learnt to rely on myself and no one else, and it is such a good feeling. Doing everything on your own can be tough, but it'll definitely open your eyes and make you a very grateful person for what you have back in your homeland.
Overall, the experience of travelling and studying abroad is a major eye opener. Just settling in to my life at Keele, I feel like I've already experienced so many different things. I've met people from countries all over the world, and learning about the way they all live their lives is incredible. The cultural differences can be tricky, but that's what makes it so beautiful. So make sure you go and talk to the international office during your degree, you won't regret it! It'll be the best thing you do during your time at Western Sydney University.
Tennille – University of Copenhagen, Denmark
Why did you decide to undertake a mobility experience?
I wanted to get out and explore. I wanted to meet other people in my field, on the other side of the world. I wanted to be encouraged and inspired about the career path I was taking (research). I wanted to compete with brilliant minds at a world class university. I wanted to make new friends with different views, different ways of doing things. There’s so many reasons to undertake a mobility experience.
What was a typical ‘day in the life’ while you were abroad?
Since I was enrolled in a Master’s degree, it was 4-5 days a week of lectures, journal clubs, tutorials and the odd excursion. Starting the semester in January, it was a huge adjustment getting up at 7am and it still being pitch black outside. The sun barely rose until 9am, and then went back to sleep at 2pm. Living in the dark until April-May was learning how to ignore the absence of the sun, going to your lectures with a coffee because the lack of sun made it feel very strange, walking from your lecture to the city because everything is within walking or biking distance, and coming back for the afternoon round of classes until you were ready to go home and study for tomorrow’s content. It was gruelling but planning holidays to other countries like Ireland, Helsinki and Sweden were such normal occurrences too that you didn’t lose the magic of being abroad. Every day you’re meeting new people at that new student bar you found, or you’re planning a weekend away in Estonia because a classmate found a great deal on Airbnb. It was surreal and completely normal at the same time.
What was something about the location, culture or host university that surprised you or intrigued you?
I didn’t know that Danes were a very keep-to-yourself type. It actually ended up being such a nice change of scenery. Instead of a crowded, noisy train ride at 7am every morning, it was totally silent. If anything, it was rude to talk. But in saying that, Danes are really lovely when you put effort into getting to know them.
How did you spend your free time while abroad?
When the weather was wonderful (May-June) I spent it with my friends in a park with loaded fries and burgers on the grass. Denmark has a wonderful culture of using their botanical and castle gardens to have a cider and a snooze, so it’s completely normal to have an afternoon nap in the sunny gardens between classes. Other than that, I was travelling with friends I had met in my Danish class.
How has this experience shaped you?
I actually kept my friendships with the girls I met in my Danish class and we’ve been travelling together and visiting one another since we left. I’ve been to Iceland and Helsinki, and they’ve also visited Australia most recently just before the bushfires hit. I’ve met academics and clinicians that have inspired me. I feel like I have more direction of where I want to go with life. I have memories I’ll carry forever. This experience has actually shaped a lot of my own attitudes and opinions towards global issues, particularly when I heard about them from friends and classmates and why they thought what they did. There’s not really one aspect of my life that’s been left unevaluated from my time abroad. It’s something you can’t really grasp the magnitude of until you come home.
This experience also made me develop a love for Denmark, and it’s definitely resonated with me enough to want to go back for additional study.
Do you think this experience will help you in your future career? How?
It’s always been a really cool talking point in interviews to discuss where you’ve been, how long you were there for, and what you did. Humans love to compare experiences, and you’ll find most employers in your field have done their own travel and are looking to relate your experiences to their job ideals. I can confidently say that having an abroad section in your resume is a game-changer. Many employers are looking for personality, and having an abroad experience shows that you are someone willing to step up, someone who may have learnt a second language, someone who is determined to try new things, someone who is a bit of a go-getter, and someone who actively sought to improve themselves.
In my future career, having this on my resume is also much more favourable if I’d like to return to my host university, which I do.
New Colombo Plan Student Stories
New Colombo Plan Mobility Grant
Justin – New Colombo Plan Scholar 2017
Pusan National University, Busan South Korea
What was your favourite memory as an NCP Scholar?
in Busan! I participated in the NGO's work that involved providing medical, social and language support to people
who had migrated to Korea from other parts of the Indo-Pacific region. The center also took a leading role in supporting Korea's nascent multicultural policy through advocacy and education, and my research and writing directly contributed to those efforts.
How has this experienced helped you develop?
The NCP program helped me grow as person: my networking skills have improved; I have a deeper understanding of South Korea; I speak a second language now; and, I know that I can adapt and thrive while living in a totally new environment. The NCP kick-started my roles as a representative of Australia overseas and a researcher with a truly international perspective.
How has this experience helped your career?
In part thanks to my participation in the NCP, I was awarded a full scholarship by the Korean Government to study the Korean language and complete my Master degree in Public Policy. Now I am completing my Masters at the Korean Development Institute's
School of Public Policy & Management. Everyday as a student I conduct my own research with world-leading policy and economic researchers and students from all around the world. My language skills have spring-boarded from my NCP program to the
point where I am near-fluent in Korean. I am excited to use my research and language skills, and my deep knowledge of South Korea, upon graduation mid-next year.
How do I submit a Go Global story?
Share your story with others! All returned students are encouraged to submit a written testimonial about their exchange to the Go Global office for use in our promotional activities and website. Please email your testimonial to firstname.lastname@example.org.
What are the benefits of the Go Global program?
- Enhance your career prospects
- Gain cultural awareness, and adaptability and resilience skills
- Increase your skills and knowledge in your field of study from an international perspective
- Connect with fellow students and create lifelong friendships and memories
- Grow your international network
How do I apply for a program?
There are endless personal and professional benefits to undertaking an overseas program. To submit an application, click here (opens in new window). To discuss mobility opportunities further, consult with a member of the Go Global team either via email email@example.com or book an advising session via phone or teleconference.