Daniel G. Exchange Ambassador
What is one word to describe your study abroad experience:
"Everything is new! Everything is interesting. It'll be the best time of your life."
Exchange student at BOKU, Austria
- What is the best thing that happened while you were studying abroad?
Meeting a bunch of new friends from all over the world.
- What was the biggest cultural adaptation you had to make?
Learning to speak german! and understanding that I won't understand everything.
- Where was the coolest place you travelled to during your study abroad experience?
The vineyards overlooking the Vienna. I'd go there every weekend and hike up the hills.
- What is something that you know now, that you wish you knew before you studied abroad?
I wish I knew how the academic system works. its something you figure out quite quickly but it was a very confusing few days.
- What was your best learning moment?
Taking the German intensive course. I picked up a lot of the language and I actually became comfortable speaking with people in shops and offices. It was very rewarding.
- Who was the hardest person to leave from home? How did you deal with that?
I've lived alone for some time. But its always sad to be away from home. You need to call your family and friends more often then you think.
- Who was the hardest person to leave that you met while on exchange? How did you deal with that?
i had a very close group of friends, about 5-6 people. we did everything together. They really become some of the closest friends I've ever had. There is no way around it. its hard saying goodbye. you just try your best to keep in touch with everyone.
- If you were to recommend exchange to your best friend, what would you say?
It's a time where you can grow as a person and learn what it really means to be alone. Everything is new! Everything is interesting. It'll be the best time of your life!
- What are your packing recommendations?
Pack very light! You will most likely go shopping in your host country. You will want to match the fashion of the region and what we wear in Canada doesn't necessarily mean it's common to wear elsewhere. And try to avoid the luggage. A large backpack will open up so many opportunities for you, lower cost flight tickets, mobility!
- Would it be helpful to learn another language for this exchange?
It's definitely helpful but not a mandatory factor, at least in Vienna, everyone spoke some English.
- Did you live on-campus or off-campus? Would you recommend it, and why?
I rented a flat in the heart of the city, quite far from the school. I loved it because even the commute was fun. Also, being close to the museums and entertainment really opens the afternoons for you.
- How did you finance your study abroad experience?
Exchange is expansive but not much more than living in Guelph. The rent was the same, so the only fee was the visa and flight. I actually took a small line of credit but ended up not needing it.
- Are you including exchange on your resume?
I see my exchange experiences benefiting my future career as it shows future employers I embraced an opportunity and have the open mind, resourcefulness, and drive needed to adapt to a different environment and pursue my own personal goals.
- What interesting courses did you get to take while studying abroad? What was the title of the course(s)?
In Boku, there are many field courses. they take place outside over a few days and include a short essay. They are 10/10 the best thing there. You will often know everyone in your class because they will most likely be all exchange students.
- How do you see your exchange experiences benefiting your future career?
It will open me to opportunities in Europe. It is very likely that I will go back to grad school and eventually find a job over there.