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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Wilfrid Laurier chapter.

I’m currently about halfway through my study abroad experience and I can honestly say, just like everyone else who studies abroad, it has been the most amazing experience of my life so far. If you are even slightly contemplating studying abroad do it!

I was worried going into my study abroad experience. I’m an introvert who still lives at home with my family, so I was feeling anxious about moving across the ocean to live by myself in a country where English isn’t even their first language. Luckily, the whole reason why I came to France is to study French, so I already knew enough of the language to get by, but it’s scary to move somewhere new, where you’re not confident in the first language. Despite all my worries, things are going so much better than I could have ever imagined.

Since moving to France, I’ve found that I’m more social here than I am at home, which seems weird. For some reason, it’s so much easier to step outside of your comfort zone when you’re living abroad. Maybe it’s because no one here knows you and you feel like you can just be whoever it is you want to be. I think it’s also partly because part of you knows that you probably won’t see most of these people ever again.

I’ve also met some of the most incredible people from all over the world since moving here. I love meeting all these people that come from so many different cultures and backgrounds. It’s so interesting to learn about their cultures and lifestyles and see how they’re different from the ones I grew up with. It’s such a cool experience to meet people from all over the world and develop strong relationships with them, especially when it means that I’ll have to go visit them at some point in the future!

Since I am studying French, I’ve found that my language skills have gotten so much better since living here. I now use my French pretty much every single day and it has improved. If you’re studying a language, I highly recommend studying abroad in a country where they speak that language. I’m pretty sure my French has improved more in the past few months than it has in the past few years. I also know that people who don’t study languages are also really enjoying their education abroad. I think that there’s just something about getting multiple perspectives on a subject and seeing how it’s taught in various places that are interesting and helps you expand your knowledge and education.

Something that has changed the most since beginning to study abroad is my mindset. Ever since I was younger, I have always wanted to live in Europe for a few months. It had been my dream for so long, but I never thought that I would be able to do this. I’ve always doubted myself and my capabilities and I was honestly scared that I’d be a mess as soon as I was here living alone. But, since living here and being on my own, I’ve discovered that I am so much stronger than I thought I was. I always saw myself as fairly mature and independent, but I’ve grown so much more over the past two and a half months. I’m also the type of person who is content with being alone so I don’t find living alone as terrifying as I thought I would. I think that it helps that I’ve made friends nearby that I can easily go and spend time with if I’m ever feeling lonely.

There is just something about studying abroad that can change you. I’ve grown up so much over the past few months while also making memories that I know will last forever. I don’t think I’ll ever forget the time that I’ve spent here and I’m already sad knowing that soon I’ll be leaving this place and the life that I’ve built for myself over here. But all in all, I truly can’t recommend studying abroad enough. Some negatives can come along with it, but there are negatives to everything in life so you might as well take the risk! So, if you’re even slightly considering studying abroad, this is your sign to do it!

Kylie Squire

Wilfrid Laurier '24

Kylie is a 4th year student at WLU studying French with a minor in History. When she’s not busy studying, she loves to read, write, daydream about travelling the world and listen to One Direction on repeat.