Studying Abroad

A little bit about me. I was brought up in one city, all my life. I went to one school during my entire education. I’ve lived only in two homes and had friends only from my city for the majority of my life, until college. I didn’t even move away from home for college. And even as far as trips with friends are concerned, I’ve had only two. One, if you count no chaperones. I guess what I’m trying to say is, I’ve led a fairly sheltered life as far as the cultures and kinds of people I’ve been exposed to.

It’s not a problem, not yet at least. I’m able to engage in respectful conversations with nearly everybody I meet. However, some part of me believes that there’s more, which is why I want to do my master’s degree in a country other than my own. This is not to say that my country doesn’t have good courses, but staying here, at home, no matter the city I’ll be living in simply does not align with my personal nor professional goals.

You see, I want to study elsewhere so I can build my people skills, I can build a network and I can get a more holistic, cross-cultural view of the discipline I study. But more importantly, I want to travel and live alone for the first time in my life. I want to be able to manage my own finances, and enter and leave my home on my own terms (whether its coming back from a long day of academics or from a night out with friends).

I just want to experience the independence, responsibility and the challenges that come along with living alone, in a whole new country.

Does the prospect of moving away from my family, this sheltered home and my familiar friends terrify the absolute hell out of me? Wholeheartedly and completely, YES.

I am so entirely scared of leaving because this is all I’ve known, all my life. But I also do know that if I don’t leave, I’ll stay stuck in this box I’ve created for myself — and that definitely does not align with my need for growth.

Right now, I’m afraid of quite a few things like: Am I good enough academically? Will I get a scholarship, if not, can my family afford it, even after a loan? Will I even enjoy it there?

The answer to all of these is, I genuinely don’t know.

All I know for now is, I want to leave and experience more than just the boundaries I’ve been within all my life.

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