Benjamin MacMillan

Building a budget, a career and unbreakable bonds

Benjamin MacMillan studied at IMC University of Applied Sciences Krems in Krems, Austria. He is a Criminology student on the Brantford campus.

Imagine immersing yourself in a whole new world experience and having the experience of a lifetime while getting credits towards school. Being able to learn with a diverse group of students from around the world is a once-in-a-lifetime experience especially at such a young age. 

My choice to study abroad came from wanting to see the world through different perspectives and exchange is a great way to do so. Exchange means something different to everyone, but to me, travelling around the world in order to experience different cultures and values was what I learned most during my time away. It was an experience that allowed me to break out of my comfort zone as well as to socialize with different ethnicities that I encountered.

Being able to adapt to the culture of your host institution is a fulfilling challenge because it shows your independence as a person. Another important reason why exchange is so rewarding is because of the positive benefits it will have on your future career. Having such an interesting experience can set you apart from competition for potential jobs and make you stand out. Also, studying abroad is beneficial to my personal growth because being in a country where English is not their first language, it helped me overcome instances where adversity was required.

While studying at IMC University of Applied Sciences in Krems, Austria, you get to experience the different teaching styles and learn from a variety of perspectives from professors. You get to understand and appreciate the people you meet, making unique and unbreakable bonds with people around the world.

While living abroad, you get an understanding of how to budget your money and still engage in travelling, fun events and daily routines. Being able to learn budgeting techniques as a student can help out in your daily life after exchange and university.

After being on exchange I can tell you that you will never be completely at home again, because part of your heart will always be elsewhere due to the connections you create with other students around the world. For me, making this decision to do exchange was a big life change and ultimately scary which is okay to feel. But, what’s even scarier is the regret of not putting yourself out there and missing out on what could be a change in your life.

Many people have asked me what my favourite memory was from exchange and I always say that it’s hard to put a four-month experience into a couple sentences because I have so much love for exchange. I would encourage everyone to participate in exchange because it helps you grow as a person and helped me become a more outgoing and open-minded person.

One of the most challenging parts about exchange is the application process, which I believe often turns students off exchange, but if you take your time you will complete it with no problems. Ultimately, exchange has so much to offer and the staff we have at Laurier International are extremely good at helping you through the process of applying.