Studying abroad: Renée’s story

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Renee Marston headshot

Renée Marston studied at UWE Bristol on the BA(Hons) Business Management with Accounting and Finance course. This blog is about Renée’s experience of studying abroad whilst at UWE Bristol.

I chose to take a year out to study overseas as part of my course. And through the Erasmus+ scheme and UWE Bristol, I attended Jyväskylä University of Applied Sciences (JAMK) in Finland.

I have to say that this experience has already enhanced my prospects for the future, both personally and professionally as I was able to take part in a volunteering experience which enabled me to gain international experience within a place of work, whilst also helping others. I was also able to take a language course as part of my studies which employers really value.

Something that was very important to me personally, was that I was also able to significantly increase my confidence and adaptability to a brand-new environment. This has and will continue to help me personally and professionally in the future when applying for graduate roles.

Socially, I took some amazing trips and got involved in different activities. I went to Lapland and saw the Northern Lights. I also joined the University’s dance team. Stepping outside of my comfort zone enabled me to make new friends from countries all around the world.

“This experience has already enhanced my prospects for the future, both personally and professionally”

Top tips for students thinking about study year abroad

The main advice I would give to students wanting to go abroad, particularly to study, is to believe in yourself and believe you can do it. Be bold; get involved and use your time overseas to the fullest.

On a practical level, do your research. Look into things that are important to you about the university and the country. This could be checking out the sports facilities, what food outlets are on campus or the support facilities such as the library. You want to be able to find comfort in the place you will be living in for a significant amount of time.

Don’t miss out

Whatever your decision, do this for yourself and not based on what your friends are doing. None of my friends applied to study abroad and I nearly followed them, even though I knew I wanted to get more information and apply. If I did follow my friends, then I would have never had the experiences that I did.

“Studying abroad has been the best time of my life. Thankyou UWE, JAMK and Erasmus+ for allowing me to have this opportunity of a lifetime.”

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