Don’t “What if?” it

What do we really want to know about going on an adventure to a different country? The answer will be close to everything. Why? Because we like to be confortable, nobody likes to feel unguarded and insecure. This is the main reason why we are so eager to know how our exchange year or life as international student will be, to be prepared for what will happen. So we want the internet to provide us with answers to our craziest questions. More precisely, we ask social media for the Gold Key of Studying Abroad.

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Photo cred. María Fernanda Callejón Ferrer

Surfing the net for answers I bumped into some articles written in Cosmopolitan Magazine, more specifically, the Philippines’ edition of Cosmo. Whatever the reason, Cosmopolitan Philippines has decided to gives us three articles about the experience of doing an exchange year and why is it worth it. Even though it is addressed to short stays, I think that the people doing their full major in a foreign country (like me) can take some advices from these pieces.

Cosmo’s unapologetic, direct, sometimes sarcastic yet funny tone, clears not only some of your doubts but, also some of the nervousness you may feel from the whole “leaving-my-house-moving-toanother-country” experience.

Studying Abroad Was The Best decision I Made in My Twenties is the less common of the three articles since it is about how a postgraduate went to study abroad in her mid-twenties. In spite of the age-gap, her experiences is pretty much the experience we all get when moving abroad, no matter if you are 15 of 25. Her struggles with homesickness and how she overcame it are, in my opinion, the most useful part of the article, which can be put in a single phrase: instead of “What if?” just live it.

7 Things No One Tells You About Studying Abroad is so reliable. I personally struggled with some of the experiences she talks about, and isn’t it amazing when you find out that your struggles are the world’s struggles too? The good part is not only to suffer together (kidding!) but to be able to solve problems with the tips a girl from Philippines gave you. The frankness of this article makes it compelling and you never want it to end, you want to keep receiving helpful advice on, well, life.

“You’ll quickly realize that moving away from home doesn’t mean abandoning your responsibilities—if anything, they’re magnified because you’re in unfamiliar territories and figuring out a whole lot of things on your own.”  – Patricia Daycap

7 Reasons Why You Need To Experience Studying Abroad is self explanatory, we are given seven reasons why we should leave our fears behind and jump to the unknown world of a different language, new food, traveling and doing your laundry. Best reasons? Number 4 and 7: you will indeed be independent, but that won’t be as easy and perfect as we wished, nonetheless, it’s still worth it; and being on your own in a new place where you know no one will give you time to know yourself better, you’ll grow and change but you will much more aware of your existence.

In the end, they all agree in two things: being on your own is scary and is common to be scared but, and here comes the second thing, that fear you might feel can’t be the reason for you to not try. Don’t take the easy way out, don’t make yourself question What if?, go ahead and DO IT!

-María Fernanda Callejón Ferrer

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