Hello travellers! Meet Cooper – a UFV Graphic and Digital Design program student who is now pursuing his BFA. Cooper is one of those lucky people who find a degree which is both their vocation and their passion. Like our most recent feature, Sara, Cooper is also studying at NTU in Singapore. Cooper says he chose Nanyang Technological University for its well-known prestige, and for a desire to expand his horizons from Europe where he had already spent some time. “I’ve always wanted to study abroad, I travel a lot and I know the value of international experience both for me and my career.” Well put, Cooper! I couldn’t agree more.
Travelling isn’t the easiest task though, so I asked Cooper for his input on some of the challenges he faced in going abroad and how he still made the journey possible for himself: “The financial challenges were probably the biggest [ones] that I had to overcome. But with the help of BC Student Loans and the financial support from the UFV Study Abroad department I was able to make things happen.” It is always a pleasure to hear of students using the financial aid and supports that are in place to ease the transition in going abroad, and it certainly makes the whole process a lot more do-able. I say that from experience! Financial difficulties which most of us face aside, there is always room for advice for future #UFVExplorers! Cooper advises students to not hesitate once you know you want to go: “don’t put it off any longer or you may never get the chance. You’ll never regret making the decision to study abroad. Especially with [the] financial support that UFV gives you, it’s too good of an opportunity to pass up.”
Speaking of which, Cooper seems to have made some amazing friends in Singapore and done a good deal of sightseeing! I asked him what his favorite experience had been so far – a very difficult question but one of the ones I most look forward to reading. Cooper shared with me what I had suspected from his photographs full of many smiling faces; that the weekends that he and his new-found friends would get away on a trip were always the best moments. He commented on the affordability of travel in and around Asia which allowed him to get around very easily. Within the first 5 weeks of arriving in Singapore this winter, Cooper said that he had already visited Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia. That’s a very successful 5 weeks I’d say!
Meeting new friends is always a concern of new explorers going abroad from UFV… I was one of them. But, the story is always the same. You will meet tonnes of fantastic new people through your university who are just like you! NTU sounds like it is an example of this to the extreme, since Cooper told me that the winter 2019 semester that he is currently studying in had over 1000 exchange students from all over the world attending, over 150 of which were fellow Canadians! If that doesn’t encourage a solo trip to Singapore on a study abroad semester, I don’t know what does.
~~If these encouraging and exciting anecdotes don’t convince you to go on an adventure you’ve been dreaming of, come on in and let us know how we can help! Let’s bust those #studyabroadmyths in your mind and send you packing. You’ll be glad you did. Thank you, Cooper, for sharing your experiences!~~