I wasn’t planning on doing two study abroads during my four years at North Island College, but I’ve always had a love for travel and during my first year, an opportunity presented itself. I spent 6 months living in Florida and working in Disney World, before I even got on my flight back to Canada, I decided that I was going to study in Europe. 12 months after being home from my Disney internship, I was off again to further my education in another different country.
I am currently living in Heidelberg, Germany where I’m taking 3 different courses in 5-week blocks. It’s a very different system here, these blocks allow for the students to focus on one course at a time and to not be overwhelmed with the heavy workloads that being a full-time student has. Only going to school a couple times a week for a few hours at a time has allowed me to be able to explore Germany and more European countries. I’m a really big advocate for making the world your class room and finding growth in pushing yourself. I’ve learnt that you will never accomplish anything by always being comfortable. While travelling new countries completely alone, I remind myself that “life begins at the end of your comfort zone” and I’ve been having the most amazing time.
I found that before leaving on this study abroad, I was not nervous at all. My Disney internship gave me so much confidence and showed myself what I can accomplish when I push myself. I have had the privilege to meet so many amazing people while travelling solo to different towns around Europe in the short two months that I’ve been living here. I’ve explored Vienna, Strasbourg, Mannheim, Naples, the Amalfi Coast, Pompeii, Munich, Frankfurt, and more. In 3 weeks I am headed to the beautiful South of France for my spring break. A week later I’ll be celebrating my birthday at Disneyland Paris. A couple weeks after that, I will be going to Luxembourg, Belgium and the Netherlands during Easter break.
Being in Europe presents so many amazing opportunities to travel because a lot of the countries are the size of Vancouver Island. I am incredibly jealous of Europeans because of the luxury of travelling and exploring such diverse countries and cities so easily. However, living in Europe does have a downside for me: I am set on moving back here permanently, which my parents probably won’t be too thrilled about.
I want to encourage every student to experience something new and to get out and explore the world. The SRH University Heidelberg offers an incredible international program, but there are so many amazing campuses that offer study abroads. It is an opportunity that no one should pass up and everyone should take full advantage of while they are still in school.