The best part of exchange is sometimes stepping out of your comfort zone by trying new foods, learning new languages and observing new customs from the wonderfully diverse cultures around you.
In 2015 I participated in Australian Catholic University's Overseas Exchange Program. I studied at the University of Mannheim in Mannheim, Germany. I have always been interested in the German culture and landscape and thought this would be a great opportunity to immerse myself with a new language and lifestyle. I was deeply rewarded by my experience in Germany. The German people are so friendly and welcoming. Additionally, being an international university I was able to meet students from all across the globe from Ireland, Scotland, New Zealand, Spain, United States of America, Israel and Pakistan. The people you befriend on exchange become like your family and I can honestly say I have now gained friends from all across the world that I will have for life.
Another amazing aspect of international exchange is the ability to always be exploring new places and cultures. I travelled to so many amazing European locations such as La Spezia, Bruges and Prague just to name a few. Studying in Europe definitely has its perks as travelling to other countries can be done so freely and easily thanks to the fantastic mobilisation provided by the European Union. I also found the curriculum system in Germany to be exceptional. I studied many subjects that reflected both my law and global studies degrees back home but were delivered with a German perspective. I strongly believe that the conscious morality developed in Germany post World War II provides a strong grounding for a zero tolerance perspective towards public discrimination and hatred. I found this morality was strongly reflected in the way my subjects were taught, especially those that discussed issues of racism and homophobia.
If I could give any advice to those looking to participate in an exchange semester, it is to be willing to get involved. The best part of exchange is sometimes stepping out of your comfort zone by trying new foods, learning new languages and observing new customs from the wonderfully diverse cultures around you. There is so much to learn on international exchange both from your new curriculum and outside of it. I cannot recommend international exchange enough. It is definitely one of my best experiences to date.
The exchange opportunities at Australian Catholic University were one of the main reasons I decided to study at ACU. The combination of global studies with a law degree was the overarching factor of why I chose ACU as it allowed me to study subjects that reflect my passion for human rights and social justice.
Following this degree I hope to be involved in policy reform so that I can help to change policy to help liberate the marginalised members of society.