Study Abroad: an OAKS Webinar

On the 18th November at 7.00pm, myself and many other students attended an online conference about studying abroad and what it entails. This was led by two OAKS students: Matthew Mclaughlin and Ash Gregson, both ex-pupils recounted their stories of studying in Australia and Norway. I found this to be interesting as I would love the opportunity to travel to a foreign country for my studies to learn a new culture firsthand.

Firstly, we listened to Matthew Mclaughlin speak about his journey through KEQMS school to doing further studying Sport and Exercise Science at Loughborough University and through to his study abroad programme in Western Australia. He went on to explaining his reasoning for the choice to study in a foreign country and asking us why we would want to study abroad as well, for him it was a change of scenery. He also advised us to have a plan after this program whether it was to continue studies or look for an internship placement. The key points he summarised from his experience and advice for us was to look for these opportunities and take them as they won’t come to you.

Next, we heard from Ash Gregson. He studied international business management at Northumbria University, during which he spend a year at the Norwegian Business School in Oslo. He had always had this desire to study and experience Scandinavia, so he made it happen. He explained the difficulties of moving to a non-English speaking country and the problems he faced such as registering with the bank and police, travelling through public transport where the signs were not in English. He also spoke about these experiences where he made connections with people from all over the globe and how he is still in touch with them to this day. From his talk he advised us to always say “yes” to things that come up while you are abroad and embrace these opportunities as they do not come along all the time and be appreciative of this.

The webinar cemented my ambition to study away from home in another country, to experience different cultures in the world and to take ownership of my own life experiences. Thank you both for sharing your experiences with us.

Sam Year 12