And just like that, the six greatest months of my life are over, my study-exchange in Sydney has come to an end.
As I sit on the plane, I’m thinking about this entire journey from the moment I said “Yes!” to Australia. Out of all the study-exchange countries I could have gone to, I went to the furthest! To be honest, it was my sister who chose Australia and I clearly remember saying “No way!!! Too hot and too many bugs?”. Little did I know, this opportunity would change my life, and I will forever be thankful to Loughborough for helping me through it!
Study abroad, for me, meant spiritual growth and knowledge. It develops you as a person in so many ways. Not all of the challenges you face will be easy, but in the end, you’ll reflect and realise how much you have learnt.
Saying goodbye to all of my new Aussie friends was so hard and it became even more difficult seeing them cry at the airport. It made me realise that I learnt so much by interacting with heaps of people from different walk of life and cultures. Just one example, 6 months ago, I would never ever have been open to the idea of vegetarianism or veganism, no chance! But being surrounded by so many vegetarians and vegan’s, I have gained so much knowledge about animal cruelty and I am trying to make a positive change, slowly but surely.
After your time abroad, it’s so important to remember who you are at this moment in time, containing all of your new knowledge; otherwise, it can be so easy to return home, dissolving into your old-self. You need to use everything you have learnt to enhance your life back at home. For me, this means to set very specific personal goals.
I went to Bondi Beach on my last day and wrote these targets. For instance, I want to achieve and pursue things like my passion for travelling and experiencing diverse cultures. Then I think, how am actually going to actually continue doing this? What specific steps can I take to achieve this?
Well, there’s no better place than Loughborough where I can look into getting involved with things like International Day, where people from different countries come together at the Union to share their culture through food, music, art and more. It’s all about making the most of what you have around you.
There’s simply so much I have to say about the study-exchange programme and all of it just cannot be expressed on a page. As always, watch out for a new vlog which will be on my YouTube Channel (Jameel S) very soon!
For now, thank you so much Loughborough. Sydney, I’ll see you again very soon!