Study Abroad Experience in Belgium: Aleksandra Chen
Aleksandra Chen, SolBridge BBA student studying at our Partner University, Thomas More University in Belgium shares her study abroad experience.
“My dream to study in Europe was birthed in my first semester at SolBridge when I attended one of the Study Abroad Sessions with my European friends I had met during orientation week. Although I wasn’t sure about which country I wanted to go, I knew that I wanted to have a study abroad experience. Little did I know that my dream would come real several years later.
In Spring 2018, I applied for ASEM-DUO Fellowship Program. After several months of waiting, I was glad to be among the selected few to attend this program as an exchange student at Thomas More University, Mechelen, Belgium. Traveling to a different continent by myself was both exciting and scary. I was excited about the new experience and scared of being alone in a new country without any friends or support.
Although I have not completed the program yet, I can already feel the positive impact it has had on me. All my fears never came to pass instead, the fear of being alone has now turned into an expansion of my network. I have met new friends who I travel with to different countries and have new experiences. Moreover, I was ecstatic to meet old friends all across Europe who were once exchange students at SolBridge.
However, studying abroad for me is not only about traveling. A slower pace of life in Europe gave me time to reflect on my life. I discovered what interests me and what I need to do in the future. Studying abroad gave me a chance to go out of my comfort zone. I am challenged daily to be open-minded and accept differences in people from different countries. This experience has enriched my personal development in a way that would never have been possible if I had stayed in my home country. Living and traveling on your own gives you a greater sense of independence and tremendously expands your world view.
Overall, the study abroad experience motivates you to be a better self and thrive for self-development. It expands your network, creates new unforgettable memories."