Greetings from Down Under!20 April 2018
We are currently living the fabulous life of an exchange student at Monash University here in Melbourne, Australia. Before getting much into detail about how we ended up here and how much we have enjoyed living here we’ll give you a short introduction on us.
Tiia: I am a 25 years old EBS Helsinki Master’s student. I have done my Bachelor’s with EBS and for me it was only natural to continue to do my Master’s there as well. I have always wanted to spend an exchange semester studying and at first I was supposed to go to Norway, however, work got in the way and I cancelled my exchange. At that time I didn’t understand how much I really (really really really) wanted to experience studying abroad so when last fall 2017 EBS sent an email saying that they still had two open positions at Monash University I decided to send in my application. Long story short here I am now and could not be happier.
Nea: I am 27 years old EBS Helsinki Master’s student. Just like Tiia, I have done my Bachelor’s with EBS and decided to continue to Master’s degree too. I have always dreamed of studying, working and living abroad and I was almost ready to give up on this dream because the chance never seemed to come. In September 2017 when I was on a vacation in Bali, I saw the email from EBS that there are still places for exchange in Monash University Melbourne. I didn’t hesitate a moment, I knew that this was my last chance and I needed to apply.
We are doing our Master’s on Leadership and Organizational Change but here at Monash we are studying as part of the Postgraduate Tourism Program. We have known each other from the very first moment we started our studies at EBS Helsinki in 2011. We began our journey at EBS the same time and are probably also ending our studies at the same time.
Before going Abroad
There are many things to consider before going abroad. The process started by sending the application to EBS International office. We then got invited to an interview in Tallinn with the head of the program at Monash University Dr. Jeff Jarvis. We were lucky to have met our future professor in an interview since he was only visiting Tallinn for a short amount of time. We were told that there are a few other applicants as well and that we would know by the end of the week whether we were chosen or not. Luckily, we got great news and both of us were chosen. Here began the hype and excitement that we are actually spending our spring 2018 in Australia!
Next step was to send an application to Monash University along with a motivational letter and all needed documents. The process then continued with applying for visa and getting OSHC (overseas student health cover). Be prepared that the visa and OSHC together cost approximately 500€. Australia as a destination is not cheap and all together with the documents and flights the pre costs will be around 1500€. There were also a few other things to consider before leaving such as vaccinations. Although there were quite a few steps to take in order to get here in Australia the process itself was simple and we had great support from EBS and Monash University.
Why did we want to study abroad?
Studying abroad had always been a dream and since finally opportunity arised we decided to take it. There were multiple reasons why we ended up here but most importantly we wanted to have the international experience which would give us the tools for the future for example career wise.
Studying abroad gives a unique opportunity to meet students all over the world and network. It also enhances language skills and gives confidence and encourages to use the language more and prepares for future career environments. International experience is also highly valued in employment markets and can give you advantage in recruitment processes.
A great benefit especially studying at Monash University is that you get to study with different nationalities. Our course has students from all over the world: China, Colombia, Germany, Japan, Thailand, Estonia, Indonesia, India, Korea, USA and of course also from Australia. We are lucky to have such a versatile group of people and to see the many cultures and actually work with these cultures. Studying abroad gives an amazing opportunity to learn new cultures, both via the new living environment and also by spending time with the course mates.
We knew that this exchange experience will also be a long journey in getting to know ourselves better. Studying abroad is a great opportunity to take a break from our usual daily lives back in Finland and change the environment. You can concentrate on yourself for a while far away from the daily routines back at home. You will find out new possibilities and new paths for you career and life.
We highly encourage everyone to apply for a semester abroad. It has so many benefits for your future career and also for self-development and growth. It is a unique experience of university life that you cannot get elsewhere. The exchange will give you new perspective on your studies and life. Besides, studying in a new university with new class mates is so much fun!
- Tiia & Nea