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Top 3 reasons why students should go on exchange

If you’re still wondering would going on exchange do you any good, I am bringing you some good news. There are plenty of reasons to be an exchange student! The following list includes our top three reasons why you should go on exchange.

International experience

International experience definitely looks good on your resume. Many employers feel that studying abroad shows great initiative and independence. Additionally, experiencing a different culture or learning a foreign language makes you more marketable to employers. Students who have studied abroad are exposed to new situations meaning they are often more adaptable in the work place in the future. Not to forget, employers will also be impressed by the fact that you have stepped out of your comfort zone. All in all, international experience will add some colour to your resume and will give a ‘one-up’ on your competition in the job market.

Travelling

You probably already know this and don’t need me to tell you, but yes, you get to travel. Going on exchange allows you to travel a lot. On top of the opportunity to travel, you also get to experience new cultures. You get to experience the differences in cuisine, tradition, languages and communications. However, it might also invite a sense of feeling lost in the world. This is also known as the culture shock. It is a common phenomenon and it often affects travellers and exchange students that are living far from home. Travellers that are unfamiliar with social norms or can’t understand the language the locals speak. After this, so called, ‘frustration stage’, the ‘adjustment stage’ follows. During this stage, friends are established, communications become easier, and the details of local languages may become more recognizable. The last phase is the ‘acceptance stage’, this doesn’t mean that the whole foreign culture is understood; rather it signifies realization that complete understanding isn’t necessarily. Don’t let the potential culture shock stop you, by recognizing it for what it is and finding ways to deal with it, you will have a fantastic, life changing, experience abroad.

So you should stop making excuses and convince yourself to go on exchange. We have to keep reminding ourselves that there will never be a better time for us to go traveling than right now.

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Go on exchange and go on an adventure!

Meeting new people

The point of going on an exchange is being introduced to new people and cultures you have never had the chance to experience. By being an exchange student you get to meet new friends from all around the world. Your exchange program will have meetings and trips where you get to meet other students.

Now that you have met some cool people, and you guys can get along pretty well. Why not strengthen the bond for your new group of friends by going on a weekend get-away. Share hotel rooms, hostels, or even tents, and do at least one thing that scared you both or that you have never done before. It is time to go on an adventure.

AIESEC friends
Strengthen your friendship by having a get-away

Now it is time to step out of your comfort zone and start planning your exchange trip. If you’re wondering how to choose the right university for your exchange programme, you should first of all, collect all the information you can get for the university. Most importantly, you should read a lot of reviews from other students that went to the universities you are looking for. I suggest you to visit Study Advisory to find your next destination to study and read what others are saying.

5 Time Management Tips

Have you ever felt like 24 hours is too short for a day? Do you need to sacrifice your sleeping hours for your work and assignments? Yes, many of us are facing the same problem. However, inadequate sleeping decreases productivity and it becomes an endless cycle of cutting off sleeping time to work. Hence, it is very important to equip yourself with good and effective time management skills.

1. Starting from a planner

Don’t forget to plan your day with a planner
Don’t forget to plan your day with a planner !

A planner is always crucial to us to step toward a good time management. No matter if it is an electronic planner in your smartphone or a paper-based planner, there is no limitation, but choose a planner that you will stick to and use it on a daily basis. Some people like to have a big calendar as their planner so they can write everything clearly on it. On the other hand, some people prefer a small planner which is easy to carry around. It is just a matter of personal preference!

2. Take 15 minutes to plan your day

Planning doesn’t take much time and effort!
Planning doesn’t take much time and effort!

It is worth to spend around 15 minutes to kick start your day. In this 15 minutes, you can think about your day, your upcoming tasks and deadlines. Never start your day without a plan because a plan is a strategy to make the best use of your time and your day since it would become less stressful but more productive and joyful.

3. Identify all your tasks that you have to do

What are the tasks in hand ?
What are the tasks in hand ?

Write down all the tasks that you have to do clearly in your planner. No matter whether it is a big or small task, related to you job or not, just write it down and make your own to-do list. Then, you can break the big tasks into smaller concrete tasks since smaller tasks are always easier to manage and complete. With all the tasks on the list, the next step definitely is prioritizing and scheduling your day.

4. Prioritize your to-do list

A list without prioritizing is like spinning your wheels without really moving forward. I believe many of us would choose the easiest and smallest task to start with and forget about the deadline since it is easier to complete and get a sense of accomplishment. But then, are these small tasks important? Are these tasks urgent? We should not do the tasks that we like but we should arrange them based on the importance and urgency.

ABC analysis

It is the easiest and simplest approach to prioritize your tasks by differentiating into three categories.

  • The most important and the most urgent
  • Important but not urgent
  • Neither important nor urgent

By using this ABC analysis to prioritize, you can categorize your tasks and understand which task should be done first. Once the most important tasks in category A is done, you can move to another tasks in A or even in B.

5. Avoid Procrastination

Do it now ! Don't make any excuse to procrastinate!
Do it now ! Don’t make any excuse to procrastinate!

Procrastination it the biggest obstacle to step toward a good time management. You spend 15 minutes on making a good plan, but procrastination could ruin your plan. If your plan is ruined, it means your time spent on planning is wasted also. However, there are many reasons causing procrastination.

Some people are naturally lazy. Some people procrastinate because of the fear of failure or even fear of unknown. There are many excuses to procrastinate. You have to ask yourself why you not complete your tasks. This can help you understand the cause of procrastination and recognize that you are procrastinating. To tackle this problem, you should adopt you own strategies of anti-procrastination. Here is an example to overcome fear of failure:

Fear of failure?

It is totally fine if you have this fear because everyone also has fear in different circumstances. The most important issue is to admit the problem that you have as well as to admit you are a procrastinator! If you dare to admit it, congratulations, you are getting closer and closer to get rid of this issue. Next step is to understand that you can get out from this issue. There are few methods:

  • Having a “Plan B”- This can help you to get more confident to get the tasks done since you have plan B
  • Positive thinking – It is the best way to build your confidence and change you thought from the fear.
  • Potential outcomes analysis- you will feel more comfortable to start your task because you know what you are expecting in the tasks. Also, you could set the outcomes as you goal and follow it.

Time management

Everyone has their own individual preferences toward managing and controlling time. Find the best approach to adopt your own time management. With good time management skills, you can keep yourself in balance even if you are extremely busy since planning make the best use of your time. Do remember: time flies like an arrow, be sure to be a good pilot and control it! Control you time! Control destiny!

Written by Hazel Hoi Yau Cheng