Hey! I’m Zach and I am enrolled in a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies at the University of Canberra. I attended the International Relations and Threats to Global Society at Masaryk University in Brno, Czech Republic.
While I was in Prague, I undertook courses in human rights and philosophies of leadership. These courses were fascinating to say the least and still find myself thinking about the things I learnt or pondering some of the bigger issues we were grappling with in the class room. This wasn’t just because of the subject matter, but also due to the diversity of people on the program. There were people from 22 different countries; sitting in the same class room; discussing the same things, but approaching issues from every angle imaginable. This was priceless. Studying in this environment opened up my mind and really helped me develop my world view. Exposure like this is invaluable and I haven’t come across it since.
Definitely. I think if you’re not changed by any of these experiences, you’re missing something.
It changed the way I think. When I went to Prague I had a text book understanding of the world and when I came home, I felt I had a new outlook. There are many ways to approach problems (whether academic or in your career) and the more exposure to these differing opinions and approaches really helps round off your skill set. Studying and socialising with people from other cultures is the best way to harness a diversity in thinking. I may not always agree with every approach I am exposed to, but I am always better off.
Currently, I am working at the Australian Government Department of Agriculture. I came to the department especially to work on international trade and market access. My time studying overseas really pushed me in that direction. I have been in lots of interview where my overseas experience comes up in conversation. It’s often not formally answering a specific question as such but I try to weave it to illustrate that I have gone the extra mile (literally) and tried to really get the most out of my experiences.
You only live once, so just do it. Honestly, the opportunity to study overseas is invaluable. You meet lots of new people, see some pretty amazing sights and as a bonus, you learn a fair bit. Pack your bags and get out of here. You’ll be looking back on the fond memories for the rest of your life.