How to: Exchange

“What are your plans for the exchange?” is basically the most frequently asked question in the first semester of the second year. As soon as the year comes rolling around you’re informed about the options, and for me, the desire to go abroad started tingling. Actually, this already started when I heard the now third-years making their plans last year.

This blogpost is written by Anne de Vries, one of our second year student ambassadors. 

To me, it was still a very tough decision. There are quite some things to take into account: English language tests, GPAs of the first year, availability of courses, etc. For me, it was quite a struggle to finally decide where to go. My first requirement as for the country was whether I could easily get gluten free food while there. Secondly, I wanted it to be a country where English was a well-spoken language. Thirdly, I preferred a University that accepted my IB diploma as enough proof of my English proficiency. Ever since I went on exchange to Canada in my fourth year of High School I have always wanted to go back, so before I really got into the process at the start of this year, I thought I had already made up my mind. However, places such as New Zealand, the UK and Sweden caught my attention.

Searching for the right place had a stressful effect on me, unlikely the many second-years who immediately knew where to go. I have spent countless hours online, searching for the right university offering courses in my area of interest: Gender or Media Studies. I had meetings with the exchange coordinator at Spatial Sciences, I emailed the coordinator at the Faculty of Arts, I asked UCG’s exchange coordinator multiple questions, which she patiently answered.

After I’d let it rest over the Christmas break, I finally figured out what to do. As it turned out, the perfect Uni and place for me, is McGill University in Montreal, Canada. Ironic, huh? So the past week I have been working on my application and I just finished my motivation letter. Even though I now know where I want to go, it’s still quite exciting because there is only one spot at this University. So in the upcoming week I hope to get a positive message. If not, my second choice is at Queen’s University, Kingston, Canada.

Over the past week it was amazing to see all the third-years returning from their travels and I can’t wait to come back myself, with pockets full of new experiences and sights of the world.

For now, I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed.


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