Bridget Dagenais has learned first-hand how eye-opening immersing yourself in another culture can be.
When the third-year Brock Business Communications student returned from spending the Fall Term abroad at University of Leeds in England, she arrived complete with a new outlook on life.
Dagenais was one of 220 Brock students who went on exchange in 2018, travelling the world while furthering their educational journey.
All Brock students have the opportunity to participate in the Exchange program, which is made possible through partnerships with more than 40 institutions across the globe.
Dagenais said the experience allowed her to “meet new people and gain new knowledge and experiences that will aid me throughout the rest of my education and within my future career.”
A popular destination for international students around the world, the University of Leeds was an ideal location for Dagenais to make new friends, and to make weekend trips to countries such as Italy, Netherlands, Spain and Scotland.
“I would’ve loved to visit more countries in Europe, but focusing on school work took priority,” she said.
While living thousands of miles away from home presented some challenges, Dagenais, a Thorold native, embraced the experience and found a new level of independence.
“Although the U.K. is very similar to Canada in some aspects, there were little changes that would throw you off and took some getting used to,” she said, giving examples such as the reversed light switches, switch-operated electrical outlets and ways of greeting people that depart from the Canadian norm.
Ultimately, the positives of the experience far outweighed the feeling of being taken outside of her comfort zone, she said.
“I was very weary before I applied, but in hindsight, it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.”
In addition to gaining new cultural and personal perspectives, students that participate in Exchange earn academic credit toward their degree. The time abroad also gives their resumés an international edge, which is an increasingly desired experience for employers.
Students interested in participating in an exchange during the Fall 2019 or Winter 2020 Term must apply by Monday, Jan. 14 for consideration.
A dedicated team within Brock International Services is available to answer questions about the process and help guide students through their application. Students are encouraged to email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the international mobility office on the second floor of the International Centre.
To learn more about going on an exchange or to apply, visit Brock International’s website.