#UBishopsAbroad: Isabella Karabasz

The Canadian Bureau for International Education (CBIE) recently launched the Learning Beyond Borders program to provoke a national conversation on learning abroad.

At Bishop’s University, we nurture studying abroad as a transformational life-changing experience, opening minds to different ways of living, promoting understanding, contributing to academic success, enhancing communication skills, self-awareness, and adaptability. It also offers opportunities to develop soft skills such as critical thinking and problem-solving, deemed necessary in a global workforce. To promote this national conversation, we are featuring Bishop’s students who have taken advantage of our study abroad program.

Meet Isabella Karabasz, a Bishop’s student who studied at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia.

 

“This exchange was just the beginning, a spark that inspired me to travel farther and wider. Here are some things I’ve learned from my experiences, what I did to make my own exchange better, or things I wished I knew.

  • Travel with an open mind. Allow yourself to experience things that are new and different and unfamiliar. Explore! New cities are intimidating, but once you learn how to use the public transport, you are unstoppable.
  • I traveled alone throughout Australia after my semester was over, something I never thought I could do. I grew and experienced so much. I learned how to be by myself and how to be independent and confident.
  • Leave your bubble. Open up to new people. Everyone has something to teach you, to show you, and you do too. This shows you different parts of who you are, it makes your brain work and you feel alive.
  • Pack light, you will acquire a lot of new things! I do recommend however to bring some things from home to make your room feel like your own; I brought a lot of photos, but brought back even more.
  • The people you will meet are irreplaceable and priceless. Your friends will be your family. Although you will meet a lot of people from all over the world, try as well to get to know people from the host country as well.
  • If you’re learning a new language, engage in it as much as possible.
  • Your priorities will change. Let them, but don’t forget to keep what is important in balance. School, family, social, travel… you will be juggling the same aspects, but in a completely different rhythm.
  • Eat a lot!! Food is the best way to experience a culture. Try new and weird things that we don’t have in Canada. You will miss them, so eat lots!

 

When you come back people will ask you what was the best part of your exchange. It’s a hard question to answer. Make every day count. It sounds like vague advice, so let me add the following. I posted one photo every day on Instagram, from the most exciting (Sydney Opera House) to the daily routineĀ (i.e. coffee, lots of coffee). It helps you appreciate every moment of your experience. It keeps you in touch with home, my family loved it. And it gives you a lot to look back on once you come back.”

To learn more on how you could benefit from a study abroad experience, visit our website!
http://www.ubishops.ca/future-current-students/student-exchange-and-study-abroad-programs/

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