News & Events
How my semester abroad changed my life
- November 20, 2020
- Posted by: Aradhana Pandey
- Category: Education
By Sean Burleigh
My name is Sean and I’m a fourth year marketing student. I’ve recently returned from a communications placement at Nissan.
I completed my semester abroad experience back in my second year (2018) and attended HEC in Montréal, Canada. It was a life changing experience that improved my confidence massively and helped me to acquire an amazing placement experience.
Montréal is a city full of culture and the perfect place for any study abroad student. Known as Canada’s cultural capital there is never a dull day as a student in Montréal. There was an endless amount of activities including regular events (music & food festivals), beautiful locations (Mont royal & Old port) and an insane nightlife (I’d recommend Café campus!). Montréal was also the perfect location to travel around Canada and had so many amazing places you could visit that were nearby.
Canada is one of the most beautiful countries I’ve ever visited and I took the opportunity to travel as much as possible. I travelled to Toronto, Ottawa, Niagara falls, Quebec city (twice!), Boston (US, was worth the 2-hour border checks), Maurice National park (a lake trip with 10 other people) and Montmorency falls. Travelling to all of these fantastic locations has shown me another side of the world that I’ve never experienced and I only wished I had the full year out there to travel even more around Canada. There are so many more beautiful locations I would like to visit in the massive country (fingers crossed, COVID will let us soon).
Cultural awareness is a key skill that many people are looking for and study abroad offered me the opportunity to experience another country’s culture and diversity. Many companies consider this a key asset as they no longer trade in just one country and need employees who are able to understand other countries cultures. Prior to study abroad, I would consider myself not very culturally aware, I never really ventured to any other countries or embraced the culture as much as I did when I was in Montréal. On reflection, I realise the importance of cultural awareness and why companies value it so much as it opens your mind much more to understand different markets and different attitudes.
Employees are looking for students who think and venture outside the box, are flexible and have strong cultural and international awareness. Study abroad is the easiest way to demonstrate these skills and proves you have the maturity and resilience to work for massive companies. On reflection, I realise the enormous value studying abroad had on acquiring a placement and could not recommend it more to any other student.