Today in class we got a better insight and were able to explore the different opportunities we have when it comes to higher education. We were introduced to a few websites which let us look through the different education programs, and we were told to choose two of them and later on evaluate on our blogs.
For my volunteer program, I chose to write about ISA Service-Learning in Cape Town, South Africa. The ISA program provides students and recent graduates the opportunity to learn first-hand about social issues that communities around the world face. By partnering with community-based organizations and following a structured, reflection-based curriculum, you can learn how local professionals and experts are addressing these issues with the available resources while developing intercultural and leadership skills in a real-world context. Throughout the program, you can create a service-learning portfolio, which is a compilation of reflection-based assignments and activities. This portfolio provides a guided framework to examine your experience, develop an enhanced sense of civic responsibility, and demonstrate your professional and cultural competencies achieved throughout your program.
If I were to join a volunteer program, this would definitely be a number one to consider. What I love about it, is that you help for free, but simultaneously you are able to gain the undergraduate degree level, which is something I really care about. The program has also a very wide range of work types, which include Arts, Children, Economic Development, Education, Health and Social Services. All of these are extremely educational and you can easily expand your view on the world. I am especially eager to participate in the part which involves children, as their happiness brings so much joy into other people’s lives, thus the circumstances they are growing up in. Therefore I would love to be a part of a program with such ambitious goals.
The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) is a place of intellectual excitement and progressive research and is the world’s leading dedicated social science institution. The School employs many leading experts in their fields and attracts the highest caliber of students from around the world. The LSE General Course offers a unique opportunity to experience all that LSE student life and the city of London have to offer during the year’s integrated undergraduate study. Students joining the General Course are assigned to one of the 15 academic departments that offer undergraduate degrees teaching more than 250 courses. Students on the course may study any combination of undergraduate courses across academic departments. There is a diverse variety of subjects available including Anthropology, International Relations, Mathematics and Languages and The School offers a full spectrum of social science, economics, and political science programs.
I haven’t always dreamt of becoming an economist, but ever since I joined the social economics class at my school I cannot picture myself doing anything else in my life than this. I have finally found something I both love, enjoy doing and actually am quite good at, and since this is a very international and global specialization, studying abroad is almost a must. It is the best way to get to know the global aspects of how the economy in our world functions, and to learn how it impacts our society from many different perspectives. Studyabroad.com gives us, young adults, the opportunity to broaden our horizons in a way which expands us as people just by changing the surroundings we live and study in. I myself am considering to take my higher education outside of Norway, so this might be an option I will speculate when making up my mind.
However, moving abroad is actually a much bigger step than some might be aware of, therefore we should thoroughly examine the barriers of it. First and most importantly, we should think through our economic situation and decide whether we will be able to handle many new responsibilities weighing on our shoulders. Do I have enough money to pay for the tuition, dorm/flat, meals, bills? Will I be able to freely do something extra, e.g. sightsee, explore the new country?
Your language level. You have to be confident with the way you speak and not afraid to make mistakes- reminder: this is not your first language! Nevertheless, you have to be able to take part in conversations of all genres, and more importantly, master the educational level of the language- that is obviously the most important part of your exchange.
Another simple, yet important aspect is your outgoingness and courage. Being in a new country, city, and school, all by yourself, requires you to be the type of person who gets to know new people fairly easily. Did you have trouble making friends back in your own country and prefer your own company most of the time? Under those circumstances, unless you are moving only for the sake of the university, you should really rethink your decision. If you have always struggled with self-reliance at home, it will most likely not get magically better overnight. Either work on it before moving and be sure in your actions or maybe find another option which suits your personality better.
Those were my examples of two ways to study abroad, and three tips on what to think through before making the big decision. It is an extremely serious and big step for most people, therefore it should really be well thought through. The most important thing about it is that the adventure of your life begins NOW and you are finally in charge of the steering wheel, all by yourself. Life is so short and passes so quickly, that we should use every possibility to expand ourselves and explore the beautiful world outside our comfort zone.