Skip to main content
Coronavirus (COVID-19): Latest updates.

International Exchange

Year Abroad Impressions

26 February 2018

Hello everyone! Sorry it has been a while, just been a little bit busy. Being away has not been “as expected”. However, I am very pleased with the support I have been given and the facilities that have enabled me to keep striving!

Studying in China is challenging yet rewarding at the same time. It is not like studying in Cardiff. The system is very different, and it can get frustrating at times. It can also be very fun, exciting and overwhelmingly good. Initially, my plan was to stay for the minimum time required (6 months) then come back to Cardiff and start preparing for exams. Things turned out very different and I now intend on spending the whole academic year here. I am sure some of you may be considering going on a year abroad / year in industry soon. Here are 5 things you might consider paying attention to before and during your placement.

1.       It is hard. I thought a year abroad would be very easy. I was wrong. It is not easy. It requires lots of patience, resilience, hard work and organisation. Truth be told I am struggling.

2.       Nothing goes to plan. The best laid plans of mice and men is true to the bone. Going on a placement requires lots of flexibility. Things do not always happen the way you want them to and so, it’s best to be flexible.

3.       Doing nothing is easy. When you are given free reign over your schedule, it is so easy to fall into a habit of perpetual procrastination. 

4.       It is rewarding. When I look back and see how far I have come, I am glad. In the beginning it felt so long and very tedious. But seeing the little progress (be it academic, travels & language) I have made over the months makes me happy.

5.       The support network is amazing. Well chemistry for sure. I am not sure how I would have survived the last couple of months if I weren’t for the constant feedback I receive from my lecturers. I just wish I utilised the opportunities & support available more.

Going on a year abroad is actually a serious thing. It is not an opportunity to go on holiday during the academic year. It is a time to explore academic diversity whilst learning more about a different society. Even though I find it challenging now, I have no regrets. It’s a challenge I wish to conquer and succeed in.

Thank you very much for reading.

If you have any comments, please leave them below. 😊