Monday, 17 March 2014

The most difficult decision ever

As I'm the only international student in this group of bloggers I feel like it's time to talk about studying abroad.

Choosing to study abroad, leaving all my friends behind and go all in for a "new life" in a foreign country is probably the hardest decision I've made so far in my life. As with every life changing decisions it has its pros and cons, a list constantly expanding with new things. Before I moved to Oxford I studied International Relations and History in Lillehammer and Political Science in Oslo, two cities in Norway, but I felt that neither was what I was really looking for. So at the end of the first semester in Oslo my boyfriend suggested a trip to the education fair, because he was thinking about applying to the Norwegian Police University College. When we walked out of the education fair we had completely changed our decisions about continuing our studies in Norway. We wanted to study abroad, and the UK in particular.

After the education fair I spent like a week just browsing the Internet, discovering how many universities there are in this country! In Norway we have 8, and if I'm not entirely wrong I think the UK has 116... It's a jungle!

I didn't tell anyone at first about my plans about studying abroad, because I was quite sure my mum wouldn't approve of it and if I didn't get accepted anywhere it wasn't necessary to enter a discussion with her. When the dreadful UCAS application process began, and I was really pleased with my letter of recommendation and motivation letter, I told my family that I was applying to universities in the UK, and so the months of struggle begun. On one side I had my dad, really supporting and kind of jealous that I got to do something he always wanted to. On the other side I had my mum, sceptical about the whole thing, worrying about the expenses, future employers and so forth. She Googled her way through the Internet, e-mailing me different university rankings, and that this was too expensive, too risky and not worth it when I could get an equally good education in Norway at a much lower price (we don't have tuition fees in Norway). I was quite frankly torn. I got accepted at the universities I applied to, and Brookes was the university I wanted to choose. Eventually, after several weeks of heated discussions and telling the rest of my family that I was moving, kind of turning them against my mum to get her to see that this was a once in a lifetime opportunity (kind of cruel, I know..), she finally "made peace" with my decision. As of now, she is enthusiastic and happy that I moved, getting a degree, standing a bit more out in the crowd, and I think her scepticism was rooted in lack of information.

I thought I would have gotten homesick by now, but that hasn't happened. Probably because there's always something going on, always an essay to write or a presentation to prepare. The only one I actually miss when I'm in Oxford is this little boy

And sometimes my sister

I haven't regretted my decision for a second, and in fact, I love studying abroad so much that I'm pretty sure I'm doing my postgrad here as well. So sorry mum, not coming home for a while!

If you're an international student thinking about studying abroad - DO IT! You will learn so much other students won't, make friends from all across the world, become so much more independent, and of course be able to speak English fluently.

On Friday Brookes hosted LiveFriday at the Ashmolean in Oxford, which turned out to be really fun.

Artie (the robot) was definitely the main attraction for a huge part of the visitors at the Ashmolean, and it was so fun to finally get to see him, even though he was constantly crowded.

I hope you had a fun weekend and wish you all a nice week! 

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