Got the Travel Bug?

With over 32 countries to choose from, Bishop’s students have the opportunity to fully immerse themselves in different cultures through our exchange program. Psychology and Music student Hailea Caldwell chose to do her exchange program in Malta and decided to share her experience with us.

Hailea in Malta!

When I was choosing which university to go to after high school, I had the generic criteria when choosing schools. But my most important question was: does it have an exchange program and how good is it? Well, I found out at various university fairs that Bishop’s has an amazing exchange program with partnerships at over 550 universities in 32 countries all over the world! With that, I was basically sold as I knew from day one that I wanted to go on an exchange somewhere, anywhere, while I was at university.

With so many options to choose from to go on exchange, I had no idea where to start. I had travelled a bit in Europe so I had a feel for what countries I liked and where I wanted to explore more of. So with that I decided that I wanted to go and study somewhere I had never been before yet, probably in Europe so I could go visit the places that I liked the most while I was studying. I wanted to continue my studies in English, and that wasn’t a problem because the majority of the universities are either all in English or have a large portion of classes in English for you to choose from. I ended up having to decide between Malta and Australia (two very different sized islands). I chose Malta and loved every second of it!

I went on my exchange in the winter semester of my third year. Malta is a small island right in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea just south of Italy, so that meant no snow and I got to swim in the sea as early as the beginning of March (it was a little chilly then, but so much fun nonetheless). Signing up and applying for the exchange was really easy, I just had to fill out a few forms and meet with the Admissions team, who worked their magic coordinating all the people who come and go on exchange and making sure everything runs smoothly. I was able to choose all of my courses beforehand and get them approved by the Chairs of my Departments, so that every single class I took while in Malta counted towards my degree. That way, going on exchange didn’t “cost” me an extra semester. It was just like I was at Bishop’s, yet really I was in Europe getting an amazing cultural experience and meeting new people. When you go on exchange, most partnerships result in you having to pay Bishop’s tuition fees, and then get to go to any partner institution you are accepted to. This helps so much as you don’t have to pay all the international fees at the other school, just the Bishop’s fees. There are also scholarships you can apply for when going on exchange, so don’t worry. There are lots of financial support options available which helped take the stress off planning my exchange.

I made so many new friends while I was there and having all these friends enabled me to experience different cultures around the world, and especially the Maltese culture. I was able to learn so much and gain different cultural experiences from it, in and out of class, that I wouldn’t have if I stayed at BU. Between classes and on breaks, I also managed to get some travelling in which was also an amazing cultural experience. I definitely recommend travelling as much as you can (making sure you still go to class though). This way, you can get more of a feel for the country and its completely different cultures that are just next door. So if you are debating whether or not you think an exchange is right for you – I would recommend it 100%! It’s still the university experience, you are still taking courses towards your degree, and you get a whole new cultural experience. And don’t worry about your friends forgetting you back at home, or missing big events at BU. They will welcome you with open arms when you get back, and there will be even more events at BU. It will be like you never left. So if you wish to go on exchange, be sure to contact the Admissions Office when you’re at BU. They will tell you how it works and point you to past students who have been on exchange where you want to go so you can ask them all your questions. Try something new! You won’t regret it.

To learn more about student exchange opportunities: https://www.ubishops.ca/future-current-students/student-exchange-and-study-abroad-programs/

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.