Cultural Experience | Australia

3 Ways That Studying Abroad Made Me A Better Person

What I’ve learned while down under and how I’ve grown as a person by being an exchange student.

I’ve been studying abroad in Australia for 8 months now, and sadly that means that my time here is almost done. With that in mind, I wanted to take this opportunity to talk a little bit about what I’ve learned while down under and how I’ve grown as a person by being an exchange student. Hopefully if you decide to study abroad for yourself then you can learn just as much as I have and possibly even have some fun while you do it.

1. Confidence

One of the biggest changes that I’ve noticed in myself over the past 8 months is that I’ve become a lot more confident, and this largely because I’m constantly trying to put myself into situations where I feel uncomfortable. Just coming on exchange was a huge step for me because I had never travelled alone or been away from my family for this long before. Now at the end of my exchange, being in a foreign country across the world from the people that I grew up with seems like such an easy thing that I don’t even think about it sometimes.

Having the opportunity to go on my first solo backpacking trip to Cairns while in Australia and going canyoning in New Zealand were two huge actions that I took to continue seeking discomfort even after getting over the initial uneasiness that comes with big changes like moving across the world. Canyoning and cliff jumping in New Zealand was especially significant for me since I’m now closer to conquering my fear of heights that I’ve had ever since I was young thanks to that awesome experience. After pushing myself to do so much more than what I was used to in such a short period of time I feel like I’m now a lot more willing to put myself out there, and that’s an amazing feeling.

2. Empathy

While in Australia I’ve had the opportunity to interact with people from all different walks of life pretty much every single day, which has made me much more open-minded and empathetic. Thanks to all of the Australians all around me in everyday life, my Japanese roommate, European travellers at hostels pretty much everywhere I went and so many others that I can’t even list, this year has essentially been one huge case of culture shock. Getting to be exposed to people with so many beliefs, backgrounds, and ideas has made me a better person and has given me a much more well-rounded perspective on the things that are happening in life. Furthermore, embracing an Australian culture that was completely foreign to me less than a year ago has made it much easier to understand why someone might think or act a certain way. Having the chance to interact with so many different people and learn about a reality very different to what I was used to back home has transformed me into a more compassionate person.

3. Curiosity

Studying abroad has definitely made me a more curious person, and I can now say that I’ve been transformed into an active and eager learner. Simply exploring a foreign country like Australia has made me realize how many amazing sights there are in Canada that I haven’t ever visited. After touring around a place that was not long ago all the way across the world, I’m now more anxious than ever to get out there and see everything that my home country has to offer. Now after having lived away from everything for an extended period of time, I can say that I’m more grateful than ever for my family, my friends, and all of the opportunities that I have back in Canada.

Here are the 3 ways that studying abroad in Australia has made me a better person:

1. Gained confidence by seeking discomfort
2. Became empathetic through interactions with diverse groups of people
3. Developed sense of curiosity by travelling around a foreign country

There are of course many more benefits to studying abroad than the 3 that I’ve talked about here. I probably couldn’t even list all of the ways that my experience as an exchange student has helped me, so let me know one way that travel has taught you in the comments.

Travel boldly. Live without restrictions.

Let’s travel the world and learn together
YouTube: Stray With Sar (

3 Ways Studying Abroad Made Me A Better Person

Peter Sarellas

Bishop's University | 2 stories

Peter is a Canadian student at Bishop's University completing a B.B.A in Finance with a minor in Economics. He's been fortunate enough to travel from a young age to countries like France, Greece, Japan, and Keyna among others. He's recently finished studying abroad in Australia and now backpacking around South East Asia. When he's not on an adventure you can find him doing something athletic or eating breakfast for dinner. Join him on his journey to learn about himself and the world around us. ⬇️ YouTube: Stray With Sar

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