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Your holiday mentor tip: consider an exchange!

‘A term abroad is one of the most rewarding experiences you can have,’ says undergraduate Mónica Oviedo
December 19, 2017
By Mónica Oviedo

Welcome crew mentor Mónica Oviedo: "If studying abroad interests you, you should begin by doing some research." Welcome crew mentor Mónica Oviedo: "If studying abroad interests you, begin by doing some research."

Montreal can certainly be a winter wonderland during the holidays. As a native Colombian, I enjoy trying things I had never done before coming to Montreal — skating at the Old Port, Beaver Lake or Jean Drapeau Park, or sliding on Mont Royal. But if you’re used to Canadian winters, you might be craving something new.

Fortunately, as a Concordia student, you have access to a world of experiences through the Concordia Student Exchange Program (CSEP).

After spending a term in Mexico, I can say with certainty that a term abroad is one of the most rewarding experiences any university student can have. There are benefits as well as challenges, but from both you will learn so many valuable things.

Here are a few of my suggestions to help get your dream started:

1.  There are options that suit all budgets

Do not discard the possibility of an exchange just because you think you can’t afford it. Studying and living in certain countries can be expensive, but others are very affordable. In Mexico, where the cost of living is way lower than here in Canada, my purchasing power was higher. In addition, there are a variety of funding options managed by Concordia International.

2.  Widen your social network as much as possible

Without a doubt, you will have the chance to meet a lot of new people. Be open, talk to everyone, attend social events, and get involved with the community. Many of the friendships born during your exchange will last a lifetime, and might even pave the way for a future job. 

3.  Learn the language of your host country

As you will spend either one or two terms in your host country, you will definitely have some time to learn the language. Although I was a native Spanish speaker in a Spanish-speaking country, I met a lot of people from other countries, like Germany and France, on campus. After four months in Mexico, they went home having achieved a decent level of Spanish. So, think about which language you’d like to learn, and pick your destination!

4.  Travel as much as you can

You never know when, or whether, you’ll be back. Studying is important, but it’s not everything, especially if you are spending only one term abroad. Allocate time for yourself, and time to discover your surroundings.

5.  Start a plan now

If studying abroad interests you, you should begin by doing some research about the process via Concordia International. Take a look at their website, explore your options, verify your eligibility and think about which of the 40 partner countries you would like to visit.

The deadline to apply is February 1. Do your research and attend one of the information sessions in January. Amazing places and people are waiting for you, so start dreaming!

Find out more about the Concordia Student Exchange Program.


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