It’s a big decision to study abroad, so I decided to talk a little bit about how and why I made my choice. Here are some of the things I considered before submitting my application and packing my bags!
Fantastic Educational Opportunity
Production Management is a global industry, and a lot of that traffic flows through Hong Kong. Being in the classroom with peers who will possibly one day work at the factories I communicate with from New York is amazing. Seeing things from Hong Kong’s point of view is giving me a chance to understand both sides of the manufacturing relationship better.
I Could Communicate
All of our classes are taught in English, and almost everyone here understands enough that we have no troubles. Not being able to understand what is going on, or being able to read signs is really challenging. There are times when confusion arises, but it has never caused more than a miscommunication or a silly mistake. Definitely consider wether you will be able to understand and be understood wherever you decide to go.
I Knew Others Going
This is a big one for me- even though I love a good adventure and have gone places by myself in the past, spending a whole semester some place I knew no one was pretty daunting! Thankfully a few of my friends were also applying, so we kept each other accountable during the application process.
I’m currently rooming with one of my friends from back home, which has helped keep homesickness away- any time we need to talk about NYC, we can! I’m not sure if I would have considered going if I didn’t know others interested, but I think I would have loved the experience with or without bringing school friends.
I Find Asia Fascinating
The world is huge, and this is honestly my first time experiencing it. Before now, the furthest I had traveled was Canada, and right at the boarder at that. Having the chance to explore Asia, and see the sights was a big draw for me. At FIT I take Japanese, and I look forwards to being able to travel to Japan while I am here! Hong Kong has so much to do as well, a month and a half in we have barely scratched the surface.
I’m Okay with Being Away from Home
Something important to consider is if you can handle being so far away from family and home friends. I had spent about three months away last summer, and enjoyed it for what it was, so I was confident I could handle being away for the four and a half months on exchange. However, I know it won’t be easy the whole time. I miss being able to easily communicate with home (the time difference adds a whole other level of separation!) but we have all been adapting and growing through it. I definitely miss some American things too.
Those are some of the factors I took into consideration going abroad. It is not a small decision, but it is one I am so glad I made. I have grown so much here, and am having a lot of fun too!