Why I chose to do a year abroad
With less than 5 months to go before my big move to Rome, and all the paperwork and to-do lists starting to pile up on a mental desk already stacked with exam revision, I have had plenty of opportunity recently to reflect on what made me decide to do a year abroad. An extra year of fees, and more importantly an extra year of exhausting university life, puts many people off doing a year of study in another country, but there are so many reasons why I’m still excited to go ahead with this next big adventure.
I grew up in a small village outside a small town, in a small countryside county of England. I have never experienced city life, and if I’m completely honest I’m not sure I ever want to live in a city permanently. However, it is something I have always wanted to try on a temporary basis, and for this reason a year abroad in Rome ticks all the boxes for me. I will have the opportunity to experience one of the busiest cities in the world, all the while with the comfort that, at the end of the year, I will be going home. The semi-permanence of a year abroad therefore has its perks. It’s not a holiday, but it’s not an indefinite life choice either.
I’m also relishing the idea of a step further in my independence. Whenever people ask me what it is that I like most about my time at university, I tend to reply something along the lines of ‘I like being able to do my own food shopping’, which sounds completely lame, but is really just my way of saying that the independence university has given me is something that I truly value about it. A year abroad can only be a bigger step in my long road to complete independence. I have to learn to not only live and function without my family, but also in another language and over 1,000 miles away. I can’t just get picked up in an emergency while I’m there, and although that’s a slightly daunting prospect, I know it will be a big step in the right direction.
In some ways I think it will be a nice break to get away from Warwick for a while, if only because it will make me really appreciate it when I return for my final year. I will really miss the friends I have made here, particularly since most of them will have graduated by the time I get back, but I know I will make new ones in Italy, and the linguistic benefits of that will be so worth the initial struggles. I also hope that a year out surrounded by the archaeology, architecture and language I love most will be the perfect trigger I need to start thinking about possibilities for the dreaded dissertation.
Overall, despite the stress headache I’ve got going at the moment from all the things I need to think about before I go, I’m mostly just reeling with excitement at the prospect of a year immersed in one of my favourite cultures and having a time I won’t forget.
If any of you are considering a year abroad and don’t know if it’s for you, or have any questions about the process, please don’t hesitate to contact me.