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Study Abroad - Chris Bridge

Name: Chris Bridge

Degree: Business with Economics

Study Abroad Location(s): First Semester Hofstra University (USA).  Second Semester Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.

Why did you decide to do study abroad?

Studying abroad was a relatively easy decision for me for a number of reasons. I worked during a gap year so I did not want to do a placement. I was not ready to go straight into my final year, and finally, I love to travel - therefore studying abroad was the best option for me. Along with my personal reasons, everyone I had spoken to - who had previously been abroad - loved it. I knew if I did not choose to study abroad, I would have regretted it all my life, and after about two weeks of being in America, I can honestly say, choosing to study abroad was the best decision of my life.

Why did you decide to go to the university you went to?

The university I went to was Hofstra, which is located in New York on Long Island. I have been to America in the past, so returning was an easy enough decision. Although there were a lot of different universities to choose from in America, Hofstra was the closest to New York City, and this was the deciding factor for me. Also, living in New York allowed me to travel to different cities, such as Boston, Philadelphia and Washington D.C. as these are all close enough to enjoy a weekend away.

What was your stand out moment during study abroad?

To pick just one stand out moment is very hard! Having New York City and all that it has to offer on your doorstep, is an unbelievable experience. I was able to watch several sports fixtures, concerts at Madison Square Garden, numerous musicals on Broadway, as well as taking in all the spectacular sights and buildings within the ‘Big Apple.’ However, I was lucky enough to spend a week, experiencing a true American Thanksgiving at my friend’s house in New Hampshire, and without a doubt, this was my favourite week whilst being on exchange.

Was it expensive to study abroad?

Hofstra was one of the more expensive universities due to its location. The most expensive costs for studying abroad is accommodation and food. Additionally, the amount of activities you chose to do abroad increases the costs. However, since studying abroad is a once in a lifetime opportunity, I tried to see and do as much as possible, which obviously meant spending money. I was able to reduce my costs by booking activities in advance or buying second hand tickets, but everything I did was money well spent.

Why do you think this will help you in your future studies at Northumbria and future career?

At Northumbria, I am a Business and Economics student and a lot of my lecturers often talked about the benefits of studying abroad. Firstly, studying abroad is a great CV-booster, it also enhances key skills recruiters often look for such as independence, decision-making and drive to name a few. These skills are easily transferred to most careers, especially within most business industries. As I have previously said, I love to travel, so I would not be opposed to a career overseas. Moreover, studying abroad enhances cultural awareness and is excellent preparation for working in a multicultural environment.

If you could offer some advice to students thinking of going on study abroad what would you say?

My advice would be simple - if any student is thinking about going abroad to study, even if it is the smallest thought - do it, go abroad, because you won't regret it. The friendships and memories that are made whilst studying abroad are second to none, and is truly such an amazing experience!

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