A Study Abroad Experience: Julia’s Story


Written by Julia Kajdi – Student Writer

I know that everybody says and thinks that your Uni years are gonna be the best ones in your life. And if you decide to study abroad that is just even better. Finally getting totally independent, meeting new people, experiencing more modern or open minded educational systems and improving your foreign language skills. It could only be a huge win for you. But is this all true? Does studying abroad only have positive sides? And if for any reason you don’t feel that you have just won the lottery, the problem is with you? I don’t think so.

This article is not gonna be the biggest campaign speech for studying abroad, but an honest one that tries to comfort those who are too shy and insecure to get involved in all of the amazing things this experience offers.

I’ve always admired the people who become friends with anyone instantly. Who are confident enough to speak up, to approach the others and don’t have anything holding them back. My first months were a nightmare, my self-esteem was low, I felt uncomfortable around people speaking way better English than me and from time to time I panicked because I felt that everyone around me knows so much more in the field we were studying.

Now I’m speaking to those who face similar fears. What I was reluctant to realize is that I was not alone. You are not alone! Almost every international student shares these thoughts, only some of them are more confident than others. Get your confidence from the fact that you got accepted to these universities. Never apologize or feel ashamed for not speaking perfect English. On the one hand, no one cares as here people are open and welcoming. Your teachers and fellow students are interested in you and your ideas, not your English grammar or pronunciation. On the other hand, a good amount of natives don’t even speak any other languages. You should be proud to challenge yourself in such a different environment.

And even if you cannot get the courage to talk to Scottish people first, just talk to other international ones. They know exactly what you are going through and they are friendly because you all walk in the same shoes.

Now with your new friends around whom you have to talk to in English resulting a strong improvement you can take the next step: go to events, parties, extracurricular lectures. Try the gym, join societies and participate as much as possible. It is going to be hard, but it gets easier. Finally, you get to the point where the only thing making you embarrassed is your previous lack of confidence.

Once you are brave enough to fight your insecurity, you are truly going to enjoy and make the most of your Uni years. You have to face your fears, acknowledge them and move on! ‘Cause if you don’t, you are going to regret it.