Sophie Irwin

BA Business Management with a Year in Industry

The best part about studying abroad was definitely the people that I met and the experiences we shared together.

Top three tips for Studying Abroad:

1.  Say yes to any opportunities that arise when abroad, you never know what they'll lead to!

2.  Try and make friends with at least one local person; they'll show you all the places off the beaten track and show you some amazing things you'd never get to see otherwise.

3.  Keep an open mind when meeting people on your course- they're in the same position as you and want to enjoy their experience as much as you do!‌

Where did you go and why did you choose to study abroad?

I chose to study abroad because I love to travel and study abroad was the perfect opportunity to go and completely immerse myself in another way of life; living style, education standards and a new style of social life.  Plus, I've always wanted to go to Scandinavia and I probably won't get the change to go and live there again anytime soon!

What skills have you developed by Studying Abroad?

I think my communicative and interpersonal abilities developed hugely because you're constantly speaking to and learning about new people and so being able to converse with people from all over the world which was something I didn’t think I'd be very good at doing at first. As well as this, my confidence massively improved both academically and socially; academically because my experience proved I could cope with learning in a completely new environment and socially because it showed I could make so many friends and build so many great relationships in such a short time.

What were your highlights of Studying Abroad?

The best part about studying abroad was definitely the people that I met and the experiences we shared together; Cliff jumping, rooftop barbeques, rafting trips through the fjords, renting city bikes and exploring the city, beach trips and so much more! My favourite memory was probably all of us on the roof together on the night before we left, reminiscing on the amazing month we'd had over there and talking about how we can't wait to see each other again.

What challenges did you face when Studying Abroad and how did you solve them?

One of my family members got diagnosed with a serious disease just before I left and so I was really apprehensive about being away from home whilst he was so ill, especially at the beginning of the trip.  There was nothing I could really do about it from over in Norway but just being open with the girls I shared a room with really helped because they knew that there would be times I might just need space but times when I'd need all the support I could get. I think it was really important that we were honest with each other because everyone has things going on and knowing just meant we could support each other.

Why should other students Study Abroad?

I think people should study abroad because its unlikely that you'll get the opportunity to live and study abroad again with the support and backing of the University behind you. It opens your eyes to a new culture and a new way of living and just makes you a better, more rounded person. If you're considering study abroad the best advice I could give you is to just do it!‌