The decision of going to study abroad is usually a difficult one, and while there certainly are frightening aspects, we are here to give you an idea as to what one might expect while studying in a foreign country.
By pursuing your studies in a foreign country you are essentially signing up for an endless desire to travel and explore. When you go through the first “wow effect” of seeing how different this new country is from yours - you will develop a keen interest for exploring new places. This is especially relevant at EHL as Switzerland is ideally located in the middle of Europe, making some of the most desirable destinations only an hour flight away.
Not Friends - Family
This is probably one of the most valuable points. Moving to a new place and getting to know the country also involves meeting new people who are going through a similar thing. Yes, you will miss your family, but you end up relying on each other and going through happiness and struggles together. This brings people very close and these are the connections you will keep for life.
Whether you like it or not – moving out on your own and into a new place will force you to take care of yourself and be responsible for your actions. You will be forced to set aside your reliance on parents and step up the game of handling things yourself.
Less preconception and more understanding
By moving around – chances are – you will meet lots of different people with various backgrounds. By interacting with them and growing together you will develop an understanding of different nationalities and their traditions. At EHL there are about 114 different nationalities - practically the entire world is represented. Most answers to “Where are you from?” start with versions of “Well, I was born in England, but grew up in Hong Kong and then moved to …”
Understanding the culture and meeting people around the world not only makes you more open minded but is also a cool conversation starter. Get rid of your boring introduction line and simply jump in a conversation by inputting a clever comment. “Oh (insert city name), I was there last summer (and add a few comments about the touristic sites).” You will not only walk away with a meaningful conversation, but will also drop any trace of shyness you may have had before.
Since Europe is a big language hub, and most people speak more than one, you will feel the urge to learn a new language as well. At EHL, you get the option to choose between French, Spanish, German, Russian, and Chinese, but your international friends may start teaching you too. Luckily, you can already get a head start without even being in the country.
Staying in touch
Having studied in an international environment - you know that wherever you are in the world, there is at least one friend that is in the same city as you. Meet up with your old friend, spice up your normal touristic visits and ask them to give you suggestions and show you the city through a local’s perspective. Vice versa, you will be more open to hosting guests in your house back home as well.
Weekends are always filled with travelling plans. To balance with assignments, tests, group work and travelling, you have to be a good planner and be motivated. You will notice that when you plan ahead your exciting travels, you finish tasks more efficiently, because you are likely to work extra hard in order to feel deserving of these weekends. #WorkHardPlayHarder
Nostalgia is not only for home anymore
You will develop feelings for this place. From the bus you take every day to go to school, the route on which you carried those heavy groceries, the fresh cold smell of the winter street to the smell of freshly cut grass in the summer. Every corner of where you have been living for the past 4 years will hold a special memory.
Enjoy the journey
In the end, you realise studying abroad is not just studying in another country. It’s about growing and discovering yourself, the world and making friends that last a lifetime. You will realize how much you have matured in this foreign country. So make sure you embrace the opportunity and enjoy every part of this journey!
And we know exactly what we're talking about, Maria was born in Moscow, Russia but grew up in Barcelona, Spain, While Lisa is born in China and was raised in both China and Canada.
Authors: Maria Matskevich & Lisa Xie - EHL Bachelor Students