As higher education becomes increasingly prevalent in our digital age, obtaining a master’s degree is becoming almost ubiquitous. This has led students to stay in the same location for an extended period of time—sometimes in the city in which they grew up. This may lead to a narrowness of mind arising from the lack of exposure to different cultures, which is heavily discounted in our globalised age.
Thankfully, this can be easily avoided. The exposure that comes from doing a gap year or student exchange equips us with several important life skills, such as independence, an increased understanding and tolerance of other cultures, and the hardened ability to live outside your comfort zone. These are just a few of the many benefits that can be obtained from such an experience.
As universities become more aware of the benefits and importance of international exposure, they are also becoming more flexible. You can now spend time abroad through a wide variety of mediums: study in a partner university, engage in community service work, work as an intern abroad, or any combination of these. At TSE specifically, we have the choice of doing our gap year when transitioning between our bachelor’s and master’s, or between the first and second year of our master’s.
For those wanting to gain international exposure without extending your studies, doing an exchange or Erasmus Programme will be an ideal choice—the university has partnered up with several others all around the world. You will be spoiled with choice; the list includes Germany, Norway, Poland, United States, Colombia, Singapore, Japan, and Australia, just to name a few. The partner universities are typically renowned for their reputation and in academic rankings, so you can be sure that you will be interacting with other intelligent, driven, and interesting peers.
Stop letting your hesitation get in the way of your progress. Join more than 50 students every year who go on exchange and acquire a new, once in a lifetime experience!
By Shangrong CHEN