t’s tough to envisage what a year can do to us but only when we sit back and reflect on what (state of mind) and where we were a year ago, do we actually realise how far have we come along.
That’s exactly what studying in the UK did to me. It gave me perspective. It taught me to find a family among strangers. It pushed me to love people regardless of their race, culture and sexual orientation. It divulged that life is all about experiences and that we all must work towards making the ‘journey’ beautiful.
Having said the aforementioned, I would urge one and all to take up a semester or a course abroad. STUDY ABROAD! Unless you actually take this up, you won’t be able to envision what it can do to you.
In this post, I will be highlighting a few key things I felt lucky to have experienced while my stay in Leeds, UK. So let’s crack on…
Meeting, hanging out, sharing experiences with people from all over the world taught me that deep down we are all the same, vulnerable and loving. It made me respect different cultures and question some of my own beliefs. I still remember two of my friends from Japan and Czech Republic going all cuckoo cuckoo over the concept of ‘arranged marriage’. I mean isn’t that something that we (Indians) find very normal? In my b-school module on understanding different cultures, I was asked (by my peers) questions like if Indians still follow the practice of ‘untouchability’. On answering questions like these, I understood what other nationalities perceived of us (Indians) and how little they knew about our country. Being in a position like this gave me an opportunity to be a brand ambassador of my beloved country and showcase the good things and accept all the criticism that invariably comes along in a good spirit. Likewise, I had some burning questions too that got answered or clarified with far more grace.
Studying in a university like Leeds Uni empowered my personality by exposing me to professors, orators, entrepreneurs, etc. who exemplify the fact that with hard work and passion combined, we can all achieve everything we desire for. The weekly case study discussions facilitated me to discover and put across my ‘opinion’ on critical matters. These case studies also successfully cushioned through world famous business theories and practices.
Living by yourself, managing your own food, grocery shopping, doing your own laundry so on and so forth are some of the things that we (most of the students) not just find mundane but hunky dory in the beginning. Eventually it teaches us the value of having a mother who takes care of all the so called “mundane” chores with perfection and efficiency.
We often take cooking very jokingly. We don’t comprehend the value of it unless we are stuck with food made of pure commercial need and lacks of love. That’s when we start making that phone call to our superheroes and enter the kitchen to only realise how miserable we are the most fundamental yet imperative activity of human life.
Friends like family
I still remember when I first went to the UK, I had absolutely no friends of my own and I would often wonder how will I even feel like home in a land so far away from the place I hail from. But 2 weeks down the lane, I found myself with a troop like my own…goofing around and living life to its fullest with people from different countries of the world.
Feelings like these cannot be expressed in words.
Experiences like these are what we all must work towards.
The student life abroad also compels to you travel and explore the country you are living in. This in turn exposes you to various cultures and its beliefs making you value, question, embrace …your own!
Dressing up and maintaining oneself is what UK ingrained in me. Self love, self projection and self pampering is not just imperative but also something that we all must motivate the ones around us to do as well.
You must study abroad, if:
-You want to meet folks from all over the world.
-You want to experience a new way of studying.
-You want to break free from the regular way of living.
-You want to learn how to travel like a true wanderlust.
-You want to represent your country.
-You want to take pride in cooking a meal for yourself.
-You want to feel independent and responsible at a tender age.
-You want to make friends like family.
-You want to experience victories, make-ups, break-ups, failures and everything at once.
-You want to look back and pat yourself on the back for doing things you thought you would never be able to do.
Did You Know?
The U.K. Party culture (or what some of us call in parlance, clubbing ) is one of the best in the world. There’s a fixed pub that most people go to for a particular day of the week. And YES, folks do party everyday.