Current 4th year AFM students, Bianca and Tiffany spoke with the SAF Communications and External Relations team about their experiences while on an exchange trip. Bianca went on an exchange to Sweden while Tiffany enjoyed a study term in London, UK!The study exchange was an opportunity for both Bianca and Tiffany to enhance their experiences outside of the classroom while gaining an international perspective. They went on their exchange during their 3B term of the AFM program and did so strategically.
Considering the academic, professional and social benefits of the AFM program at the University of Waterloo, Bianca says, “The experience you gain is something that you won’t be able to get just in an undergraduate program”. And when the girls look ahead on their future, they see a definite advantage over other post-graduate students in terms of professionalism and familiarity with the real world. This is because, in addition to their academics and the work experience they gain through co-op, the University of Waterloo provided them with the opportunity to go on an exchange trip, meet new people, explore a new place and gain international experience.
The girls realized the professional and social benefits of gaining international experience and knew that once they graduate, work commitments would potentially make it difficult to travel for a long period of time, especially during the early stages of their career. This further strengthened their desire to seek study exchange opportunities. And while their reasons for choosing to go on an exchange trip were similar, the reasons for choosing the countries they visited were quite different. Tiffany had never been to Europe and wanted a smoother transition to avoid cultural shock so she chose to go to London, UK. London is also known for being the business and finance hub and she wanted to see how the economy there affected the rest of the world. Bianca on the other hand, wanted to explore the part of the world where she was born. She was born in Romania, and had already seen much of Eastern Europe and during high school where she visited Paris for school. Not having been to the Nordic countries, Bianca wanted to explore that side of Europe. “I knew that Scandinavia was somewhat similar to Canada but I wanted to experience the differences in work-life balance”, she said.
Bianca and Tiffany highly recommends to other AFM students to take some time to travel, experience different cultures, and explore the diversity around our world. And if you are also interested in going on an exchange trip, check out the possible options for study exchanges.
You can find information about study abroad and exchange programs on the Student Success Office website and you can book an appointment with an advisor to help you plan.