Saturday, August 25, 2012

So You Are Thinking About A Uni Exchange Overseas?

I have met with 2 students thinking about doing the reverse placement exchange that I have been doing here in Toronto – and if they wanted to be talked out of it, I was certainly the wrong person to talk to!

I have just finished my 525 hours of work at Sick Kids here in Toronto, as part of my MSW. And I have loved everything about it!

The chance to immerse yourself into a new city, through the everyday routine of work (or going into school), finding your way around, discovering things to do after work/school and over the weekend. These tasks mean that you see and experience so much more from the destination that a mere visit allows for.

Working or studying within a different country also provides you with a different cultural perspective, no matter how alike your host country is to home. The quirky differences, as well as the glaring contrasts, enrich your learning like you cannot imagine!

The other most amazing aspect of an international placement is the people you meet, the friendships forms, the lasting connections made. This feature made my placement for me.

There have been six of us working away this summer at the same placement, chipping away at the same Masters degree, from 3 different universities.

There has been laughter and lunch dates, excursions and mutual support, tears and tantrums, and an intense work experience surely none of us will ever forget.

Tim Cahill (the writer, not the Aussie soccer player!) sums it up perfectly:
A journey is best measured in friends, rather than miles

(photo credit: thanks Natalie!)

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