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Study Abroad - James Campion

Name: James Campion

Degree: International Business Management

Study Abroad Location(s): First Semester Iberoamericana University (Mexico).  Second Semester Swinburne University of Technology (Australia).

Why did you decide to do study abroad?

There are a few reasons why I chose to study abroad, the main reason being the travel. There are so many countries to choose to study in and since I am studying International Business Management it goes hand in hand with my degree.

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

I studied at Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City. I decided I wanted to study in Latin America and eventually settled on Mexico. I wanted to study somewhere a bit different and in a place I probably wouldn’t have lived in if it wasn’t for studying abroad. Universidad Iberoamericana also offered some modules in English which was ideal because I couldn’t speak any Spanish before I left.

What was your stand out moment during study abroad?

I don’t think I could pick a single stand out moment, I think just living in Mexico in general was culturally so different and provided so many different day-to-day experiences meaning I came back with some stories you definitely wouldn’t get in England. Some of the public holidays such as Mexican Independence Day and Day of the Dead were good fun and you meet people from all over the world.

Was it expensive to study abroad?

It can be as expensive or inexpensive as you want it to be. Obviously the main factor is the country you choose to study in. Mexico is re cheap for almost everything but then the amount of travel I did whilst living over there adds up too. It really depends on your own budget, if I wanted to I probably could have studied in Mexico (including flights, insurance etc.) for less than it costs me to live in Newcastle. One thing to consider when choosing a country is that studying in Latin America makes your eligible for the Santander Ambassador Scheme where you can be awarded £1000 for doing some work for the university whilst you are away.

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

The fact that I moved to Mexico without knowing anybody, unable to speak Spanish in a country where most people don’t speak English, and living in a country with a culture very different to the UK is something was pretty unnerving at first. It puts you out of your comfort zone but pushes your boundaries and makes you a lot more confident in general. I can also speak conversational Spanish now which is obviously a huge advantage and I intend to carry on learning it. Studying abroad is also great for networking, you meet international students from all over the world.

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

I would say take a chance with your destination and go somewhere different or somewhere that you probably wouldn’t go to otherwise. From personal experience there will be times at the start of your study abroad where you are wondering what you doing in a country so different to back home, but by the end you will definitely not regret it because of the stories you bring back, the people you meet and the overall cultural experience.

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