To all the university students out there…
You will regret it if you don’t go on an international exchange—I can tell you this with confidence because I have spoken to so many people who told me how they wished they had taken the leap back when they had the freedom to do so. When you’re settled down, focused on your career, and caught up with paying the bills, your ability to go abroad for half a year becomes much more limited… and you’ll end up pondering the “what ifs” in life.
Although I had dreamed of going to Singapore since my first year, I never knew if I could actually go through with it because my parents were unsupportive. In 2017, I participated in a 3-week group study to Japan and it was the best time of my life! That was the first time I had ever been away from home for so long, but I realized that 3 weeks was not enough time for me.
Fast forward to my final year in university and I was hesitant to go abroad because my work contract was supposed to go until the end of the year. Yet, when I spoke to my mentors about the dilemma, the encouragement to go abroad was unanimous. I’m thankful to the mentors who told me that going abroad for the experience was much more important than staying in my job because it was an investment in myself. Even when I brought up my concerns about the expenses, I was told that going abroad would pay off in the long run.
When I finally went abroad, I found that even 5 months abroad was not enough and 2019 easily became the new best time of my life. I fell in love with the food culture and convenient lifestyle of Singaporeans, and I ended up looking for a reason to stay. Although I ended up with a couple of job opportunities, I chose to pursue an exciting career at Microsoft and be closer to home!
Here’s my video on why you should go abroad, how to alleviate some of your concerns, and how to get started: