Applying for a year abroad- my story22 August 2019
One of my major inspirations for studying Geology was the opportunity to travel- this dream has finally come true! This is due to some very hard work and a pinch of good luck.
My A-Levels weren’t what I expected, and I ended up at Cardiff through clearing (best thing that ever happened to me) so I was enrolled on the BSc Geology course- not the MESci with International year I was so desperate to be on.
This sparked me to work my socks off to get onto the course with the international year and here I am!
The process of applying to do an international year was complicated but I was given loads of support from both staff at Cardiff and at my host university.
Around Christmas time, all students enrolled on the international course attended a presentation where the application process was explained to us followed by a slideshow showing the possible hosts, we were shown various universities around the world such as Miami, Australia, Sweden and finally, Canada.
I was set on going to Canada for my year abroad from day one. I had researched some different universities there prior to discovering my options and was delighted when it was announced University of British Columbia was on the list of host universities. My delight faltered slightly when I discovered there was only one place available at UBC and a potential 18 applicants.
There were two parts to the application- firstly, a general application form- mostly questions to gain contact information and possible module choices for your top three choices- and then the scarier half: a supporting essay.
The essay was split into three major sections:
- Motivation for studying abroad,
- How will this opportunity benefit you personally, professionally and academically?
- What qualities will make you a good ambassador for Cardiff University when you are away?
I spent the Christmas holidays writing the essay of my life, showing off how much research I had done into the local area, including the geology. I talked about how the modules offered at UBC would be far more beneficial than those offered at Cardiff and how I had overcome many obstacles (including my poor mental health) to be in the position to apply for a year abroad.
I waited a lifetime for the decision – three weeks. I couldn’t think about anything else and then one Tuesday lunchtime sat in the Taf with friends I saw an email entitled: International Exchange Placement – Confirmation Required. My whole body went numb and I panicked my friends by repeatedly shouting “OH MY GOD” with zero explanation, when I eventually opened the email and saw “you have been nominated to University of British Columbia” I jumped up screaming and climbed over my friends (very awkwardly as I was sat in the middle of a booth), ran outside and phoned everybody I could possibly think of, sobbing down the phone. It felt like such an achievement.
After I received my nomination everything went through pretty nicely for me, in April I received my acceptance letter from UBC and applied for housing (which I’m sure I will detail in a future blog post) and that was that! I am now sat preparing for my flight to Vancouver in just over a week and I truly cannot wait!
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