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Study Abroad - Dorothy Atakpu

Name: Dorothy Atakpu

Course: Business Management

Study Abroad Location: One semester at Universidad de Chile

Why did you decide to do study abroad?

I wanted to improve my graduate quality and employability, and as textbook that sounds, it’s true. I decided to go on study abroad because I wanted to increase my employability, and I felt I was unprepared for the job market with just two years of business school. If there is one thing that I have learnt as a student at Northumbria University, its that you need to stand out from 14 million graduates in England, in 2017. Studying abroad at a high quality partner university raises your quality because it shows two of many things; 1, that you are able to step out of your comfort zone, and 2, that you potentially have more experiences and skills than fellow graduates. Looking back now, I am satisfied with my study abroad semester because studying abroad gave me both a higher quality of education, and CV boost. 

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

I’ll start off with why I went to the Country. I wanted to study in a country where English isn’t the native language, and I wanted to learn Spanish, so my choices where Spain or Latin America. After some research, I found that Chile is the safest country in South America and Universidad de Chile is the one of the top universities in Chile.

What was your stand out moment during study abroad?

This is a bit of a hard question for me, because I had quite a few of them. If I had to choose one stand out moment during my study abroad it would be my weekend with a Chilean family in the beach city, Algarrobo. I went there right after my final exams and deadlines. It was my happiest weekend in a while. I experienced clear seas, a ‘cabin in the woods’ vacation, and most of all, peace.

Was it expensive to study abroad?

Honestly, I felt it was. Because I wasn’t working part time, and I had to do my accounts manually, so I could feel every ‘peso’ I spent. However when I returned to England, and compared my living expenses, I realised that it was about the same living costs really. I must admit that living costs in Santiago are on the high side in comparison to destinations such as Thailand. If you want to travel a lot, then yes, study abroad is expensive, otherwise it is affordable.

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

I learnt many new things from the modules I took at my host University. In my opinion, one year at my host university equals two years at Northumbria. I learnt things that I did not learn at Northumbria, valuable things that I believe will make it easier for me to get through my final year with more insight. More so, I think the practical intercultural and language skills will be attractive to employers.

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

I would say, Go for it! Do your research, get in touch with locals and the host university before you get there, and of course, get insurance and be financially secure. There is not enough mental preparation for living abroad, so be aware of culture shock, and don’t go through it alone. Get out of your house, speak to someone, and enjoy your time there!

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