Carlin | Exchange to Kwantlen Polytechnic University, Canada

Photo of Carlin in snow

Carlin is studying a Bachelor of Communication (Advertising) and went on exchange to Kwantlen Polytechnic University in Canada. He writes:

So, here you are… thinking about taking the plunge. If you’re anything like I was before my exchange, you are focused on what you believe to be the ultimate prize...a resume doing jazz hands, screaming ‘LOOK, FUTURE EMPLOYER...LOOK AT THIS COOL THING I DID ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WORLD!’

On the other hand, you may be someone who lives out of their suitcase and is eager to jet off to the next destination. Or maybe you just want to prove something to your smother mother/helicopter parent(s).

Whatever the reason, take the plunge and dive in because the truth is, when you undertake a global experience with RMIT, you get so much more than you signed up for.

Whatever the reason, take the plunge and dive in because the truth is, when you undertake a global experience with RMIT, you get so much more than you signed up for.

I was lucky to spend the better part of 2019 in Vancouver. There I was, trading my busy, Melbourne routine, my degree at RMIT, for a clean slate, not knowing what lay ahead. Scary? Sure. Completely worth it? UH-HUH!

To live, study, and switch up your life in a part of the world that’s completely foreign to you is a treat, but living in the land of maple and kindness turned out to be extra, extra sweet. As I write this, my mind floods with memories that feel more like dreams. Memories of climbing mountain tops, screaming at the top of my lungs at hockey games, getting lost in forests with bears on the loose, seeing snow for the first time, and diving into freezing, blue lakes, and rivers, even though I can barely stay afloat (Here’s to living outside our comfort zone, right?!).

In hindsight, none of these experiences would’ve been near as magical without the company of the wonderful people you meet on exchange. You’ve probably heard it all before so, I won’t tell you what you already know. But I will say – bring a box of tissues for all the tears you’ll cry at the airport, saying goodbye to the friends with whom you spent the last couple of months having a ball.

Looking back on my time overseas, I’m glad I remained open-minded, optimistic, and adaptable. Canada surprised me and better yet allowed me to surprise myself. This exchange taught me to live in the moment and appreciate the journey rather than focus on the destination. I’ve also realised that the ultimate prize wasn't a global experience on a resume after all. The real prizes are all the top-shelf memories I get to look back on when I’m old and grey.

Canada surprised me and better yet allowed me to surprise myself. This exchange taught me to live in the moment and appreciate the journey rather than focus on the destination.

So, do your future self a favour and dive into RMIT global experiences. Learn a thing or two about yourself, take risks, and see the world in a whole new light.

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Acknowledgement of country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business - Artwork 'Luwaytini' by Mark Cleaver, Palawa.