I was able to make a dent in my goal when I studied in Germany for a semester.
It all started when I had a German flatmate in SG. We were talking about pursuing further studies, and she mentioned that (public/state) education in Germany is free. Best part is that this is extended to international students, too! I don’t know why it’s free for everyone but I wasn’t about to pass on that opportunity. So, I did my due diligence and informed myself as much as I could about the process. And whoa, what a process it was.
I visited a total of 7 countries in those 6 wonderful spring-summer months in Europe. And given this, I have been persuaded by some friends to “blog” about the countries and places I have visited. It did not really appeal to me. Maybe because I did not have the best idea about blogging. I saw it as some sort of “mainstream”, errthing-is-perfect in little squares on Instagram accompanied by a phrase: full story on my blog/link in bio. I mean, it can’t be that perfect and easy, well at least not for everyone. With that, the thought of blogging was just so aloof and unnatural to me.** Until I thought to myself that if I really want to write, maybe I could be a source of information instead; give information about how I was able to travel, secure documents, and prepare for a life alone in a foreign country worlds apart from what and where I grew up in.
Albeit brief, for me the hardest part about moving to Germany to study was that I didn’t have a person to talk to about it, a guide of some sorts. I did not have a go to person that could assist me, anyone that could tell me which ways are more efficient and solid, or simply anyone I can share some frustrations with especially when the going gets tough. Hence I told myself that if I made it through all the processes, I’ll write about it – like a guide that I needed back then. I can’t believe I am about to go through the same processes again, and re-live everything I went through 2 years ago (again!). But I hope that this would help in reminding me with key things that I can share. This topic/guide is going to be long, so I will try my best to organise it as best as I can and maybe present it in a series of entries.
SO, if you are looking to study abroad, here are three things:
You’re just about to start a long journey, but not to worry, every big decision starts with a small step.
1. I am proud of you in deciding to do so – uprooting yourself out of your comfort zone is not easy. Trust me, you will cry at some point and not to be overly dramatic, but when I got sick when I was alone, I did not think I would survive haha. BUT as cliche as it may sound, it is honestly one of the best decisions you will ever make in your life. Probably the best experience, too.
2. Fair Warning: It is going to be a long journey ahead – This is directed towards my friends with weaker passports. Although the process is frustrating and long (not to mention, expensive), hang on and push through. It will all be worth your while (and moolah).
3. But: Take a deep breath, and enjoy – imagine being in a theme park and you’re about to ride a crazy roller coaster, you’re scared and excited at the same time. Throw the worries away, I am sure there is a solution to every challenge presented along the way – it’s not like we’re going to give up, right? Enjoy.
I can’t wait till I actually start writing about my process-experience. Hopefully I can share one by next week, if not sooner. Calling the spirit of not being lazy and proverbially exhausted to be with me. Happy Friday!
**I admit my bias is based on my lack of exposure and knowledge about blogging and bloggers, and I do not mean to offend anyone nor am I directing those words to any particular individual.
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