Ever thought about how amazing it would be to go on an exchange during your post-secondary education and then stop there? You are not alone.
Many students consider travelling abroad, either for work or volunteering, but are immediately discouraged by the seemingly unending obstacles that stand in the way of the booking of their flight ticket. Will the trip be too costly? What if I can’t adapt to a new culture? Will it be worth my time? Will I have support? Where will I stay? These questions are indeed important, but they can be answered. Ultimately, the deciding factor will be you, and how determined you are to go.
While the actual experience certainly differs from person to person, the majority of the participants who choose to go on exchange will tell you that it is a worthwhile opportunity. Michelle Molas, a recent Business Administration graduate from the Philippines, is currently on a work internship at SFU Career and Volunteer Services. She chose to go on exchange through the student-run organization AIESEC because their services were able to address most of the concerns that normally hinder students from going abroad. After overcoming such obstacles, Michelle was able to focus more on her soul-searching journey to see what a work exchange could do for her career.
As an Event Coordinator for the BIG Fair, Molas has confirmed her passion for her career and working abroad:
“After I graduated, I was unsure of which career path to take. Through working with Career Services, I’ve found that Project Management and Event Planning is something I really enjoy doing.”
Choosing Vancouver as her destination was no question, as she has been here before prior to her internship and fallen in love with the city. Though she has family here to aid in her adjustment to Canadian culture, she notes that being matched to a welcoming community through AIESEC has helped her to orient to the new environment very quickly, as well as enabled her to build lasting relationships and expand her global network.
“Going abroad is a great way to step outside of one’s comfort zone” – Molas says she has gained more independence, developed a greater confidence, and gotten to know herself better through this experience, and would definitely be open to more international opportunities like this in the future.
Learn about how AIESEC will support you before, during, and after your internship experience by hearing the stories from past and current exchange participants like Michelle at AIESEC SFU’s Exchange night, happening on Tuesday, October 4, 2011 at 5:30pm in MBC 2290. You can register for Exchange Night by filling out the following form at http://bit.ly/r1hfs1
By Peggy Chen