Is The End Of An Exchange Semester Its Only Flaw?

When coming to Germany, I was scared and afraid to be so far away from home for half a year. However, these past few months have passed by so quickly that I hardly even notice it. As my semester here starts coming to its end, I realize leaving is the only thing that’s made me upset during my time overseas. Everything else has been, and still is, eternally wonderful and unforgettable.

People keep saying that changes are hard things to handle… especially when those changes are about your whole lifestyle. This is what made me think that being far away from my normal life for five months would be the most demanding and challenging period ever. Although I do love to travel and consider myself an active person, just thinking about giving up on all the things I had used to made me feel blue.

All that seemed to be scary at the very beginning. However, when I started to live the life I could have never expected for myself, I noticed that it was easy to get used to something new. In a month, you already start to develop a normal routine and you accept all the things happening around as an integral part of yourself. Meanwhile, you fall in love with your new life.

end exchange semester polaroid

Even though it was hard at a point, I can hardly remember those memories now. I have visited five countries, met people from all over the world and made true friendships with many people. And now, when time to come home is approaching me at the speed of light, I can say that the only thing I regret about this semester is that it is coming to its end. There is nothing else to regret and no one to blame. The end of exchange semester is an only disadvantage of a one.

Of course, nothing always goes so smoothly. But what I want you to understand is that all the difficulties that may arise in front of you are not a disadvantage at all. They will become part of your life, and what is more important they will become part of yourself and your memories. After one semester abroad, you will acquire not only new knowledge concerning your studies, but a priceless luggage of experience.

Firstly, you will live an independent life, where you are the only one to make decisions. That was what had happened to me. You just find yourself in a place where there is no one you know and everything you do comes from your own will. This helps you to better understand yourself and even make plans for the future.

Secondly, exchange semester actually means being abroad for half a year! You experience living in a new country and have a chance to join its culture. Because of this, you feel everything not like a tourist, but like a local resident; including things like national customs, traditions and habits. After a while you will be able to say proudly “I am a Berliner!” (or wherever else has been a long-term destination point for you). Isn’t that cool already? Moreover, you can travel around the region, explore countries that are nearby and add hundreds of places to your ‘I’ve been to’ list.

Thirdly, if at any time, you’ve had the feeling that you want to change your life completely, but you did not have enough courage to do so, then an exchange semester is the best option for you. It may be a beta version of the biggest change; a starting point for your future. Exchange is a time which helps you to understand if you want that one big change to come or not.

And finally, exchange semester is a time when you have a chance to meet people from all over the world, make some international friendships, have fun, fall in love and be a part of international team full of the coolest ever people. You become part of a crowd whose heart is beating simultaneously, hinting and whispering that it is the best time of your life.

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Do any of the things listed above things sound like something you can regret or something that may not be useful in your life? I bet not! Everything comes from our own perception and there is always a possibility to withdraw use and happiness from every moment of our lives. Just keep doing it. And never ever stop.

Profile photo of Anna



Anna is a student from Kharkiv, Ukraine who studied abroad in Germany. She's also been to over 24 countries (and counting!) and is one hell of a photographer! For stunning pics to get you into the globetrotting mood, check out Anna's Instagram at @mmm_bravo.

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