#UbishopsAbroad: Emma Berry

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 Emma Berry, a Williams School of Business student, who studied at Keele University in the UK. 

“After only three days in England, I had already met incredible people. Now, seven months later, these people are still an important part of my life. I never thought I’d be away from home for that long or that far, and to be honest, it went by so fast I would have loved to have stayed another year or more. This experience allowed me to find my truest self and go beyond any expectations I had of myself. I am an extremely anxious person and always used to shy away from the unknown. One day I heard about going abroad and I just went for it, and I don’t regret a thing. Going abroad on a last-minute whim (because I applied late in November for the next winter semester) changed my whole life, in an amazing, positive way. During these 5 ½ months, I met incredible people, learned about so many different cultures and on top of everything, I learned and discovered who I am. I went on a three-week trip, BY MYSELF, and it was hard, but it made me see what great things I can accomplish when I let myself go beyond the boundaries of what I normally do. I spent the first 2 weeks abroad crying in my room, just wanting to go back home. I went to student services and one person told me: You know, people like you, who feel homesick and want to go back home right away are more often than not the ones who do not want to leave in the end. Guess what? That was so true. After giving myself a chance to handle my stress and fears, I dove in to my adventure more than ever. I would do this whole experience over again and would not change a thing. A few tips that I can give to you, the person who fears new things and that already experiences stress in everyday life: Go for it! Go to every party, event, socials, etc that you can. Meet people, because they will be there for you and most of them are in the same boat you are in and will understand you. And when you feel like abandoning, go see someone, anyone, that can give you that same push that I received. And more than that, give yourself a chance to see what you thought you could never do. I could write a whole book about my experience, that is how much I have experienced. Studying abroad makes you explore another part of the world and makes you discover who you truly are.”

To learn more on how you could benefit from a study abroad experience, visit our website!

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