BSIS student Thomas Walsh discusses his study abroad in Singapore, an experience that has helped him move outside of his comfort zone and prepared him for working abroad in the future.
Why did you decide to study abroad?
I decided to study abroad because I love traveling and wanted to go beyond the scope of my usual experiences.
Where are you currently studying, and how long is your program?
I am currently studying at The National University of Singapore for the Spring 2023 semester.
Tell me about your experience so far.
I chose Singapore because Southeast Asia is an area of the world where I have never been. I thought that being able to spend a whole semester here would be a great way to experience the region for the first time. My semester has been eye-opening—between traveling to extraordinary places throughout Asia, taking regional history courses, and learning about different cultures, I have learned so much. As is only natural for someone who has moved to the other side of the planet, I have had challenges to overcome as well. Having a mindset of facing any difficulties I have and learning from them has certainly helped me a lot this semester. Now, at the end of my time in Singapore, I can say that my experience abroad was more of a personal journey than simply an opportunity to study and travel in a new place.
Would you recommend study abroad to other students, and if so, why?
Everyone will have different goals and experiences when it comes to studying abroad. One thing that students studying abroad will experience is learning about themselves. Being placed in another part of the world for an extended period will force you to adapt to new, and sometimes difficult, situations. It may come in different forms for everyone, but I believe that anyone who studies abroad will grow and mature from their experiences. Students who go into their semester abroad willing to overcome the struggles they face and make the most of their time will have a great experience, wherever they choose to go.
How has this experience benefited your academic and professional life?
Like many others, I hope to live and work abroad in the future. I think this semester has helped me work toward this goal by giving me experience in moving out of my comfort zone on many occasions and learning to adjust to living in a new place. It is certainly important to learn through classes, jobs, and internships to prepare for life beyond school. However, I think that my study abroad has also helped me develop skills that will be valuable in my professional life such as adaptability and willingness to overcome difficult situations.