Monique Crawford has completed her international student exchange as part of her Bachelor of Commerce at NMIT. She attended Cologne Business School in Cologne, Germany for a semester.
She shares how she found the experience.
My favourite part was definitely experiencing another culture. I made a big effort to make German friends which made the exchange very special. They would often take me out to their favourite cafes, restaurants, bars and even sometimes drive me to other cities!
The academic side was completely different to back home. I developed many skills; one being my ability to do presentations. This was a big challenge for me, as I never felt overly confident doing presentations back home. The exam structure was also very different, so I would recommend trying to find out as much information as possible.
The best place I visited was actually Strasbourg, it's in France but was originally a German city. I went there to visit a German exchange student I met at NMIT, so I would absolutely recommend trying to get to know the international exchange students before you go. You never know what interesting places the friendship may take you!
I think my ability to put myself out there and make friends has improved. I'm naturally quite a confident person, but moving to a new country is always a challenge! I think you just have to really be yourself and try to approach new people. Everyone is in the same position as you, so most other students are pretty friendly. I also became very comfortable with spending time on my own, I would often go out exploring, try new cafes and generally just try to make the most of being in a new city!
Absolutely! The exchange is a great experience to develop yourself as both an academic and an individual. The skills you will gain, and the things you will learn about yourself will be invaluable. There will be days when you wish you could stay forever, and others where you miss home. But, if you can make the most of it, and surround yourself with good people, it will all be worth it!
I would recommend to any student thinking about the opportunity to get involved and give it a go! I saw it as a challenge and I feel so proud of myself for doing it. The staff at NMIT also made it a super smooth experience, there wasn't a moment when I didn't feel supported.