Leaving everything you know behind for a new adventure, new culture, new language, new people is the norm for many AAU students. And a few have chosen to undergo this again on an international semester exchange.

With over 35 destinations available to AAU students around the world, the opportunities for new adventures are endless. From Asia to North or South America, students are encouraged to take advantage of these opportunities while working towards their degrees.

Third-year Business Administration student, Nicole Gilberg, spent the Spring of 2022 studying in the USA at Florida Atlantic University. For Gilberg, studying outside her home country once again was a no-brainer. “Since it wasn’t my first time moving to a foreign country and I knew that I enjoyed that so much, I just thought why not? If I could live in a different place every semester I would,” Gilberg said.

One of the most memorable parts of her semester was the people she met along the way. One event Gilberg remembers fondly was her birthday because it was shortly after she moved to the USA and she had a big party on the beach with new friends.

Another globetrotter, Michelle Macias Mendez, studied abroad at Taylor’s University in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia last Spring. Mendes seized this opportunity because the world is so big; there is so much to see and learn by traveling.

This third-year International Relations student said there is so much to learn both in the classroom and outside it. “I feel like my exchange taught me so much in terms of my personal life. It just taught me that it’s okay not to be okay and that I really don’t know anything because the world is so big and there is so much to learn,” Mendez said.

Michelle Macias Mendez visiting the Cameron Highlands of Malaysia

Erasmus exchange programs provide the opportunity to study at another university within Europe as well—some which provide a financial stipend. Third-year Humanities student, Dana Salykbayeva, is currently spending her semester abroad at the University of Amsterdam.

No matter where AAU students head on exchange, they never fail to bring valuable lessons back with them. “You understand yourself in a very new environment—your character, how you act, how you behave in an unknown environment,” said Salykbayeva. “You also learn a lot about cultural differences and how educational and visa systems work in other countries.”

Dana Salykbayeva exploring Amsterdam

When faced with the question of whether they would recommend other students to go on an exchange, our study abroad alumni gave a resounding: “Yes!” 

“I cannot express how amazing of an experience it was. The people that you get to meet and connect with end up becoming your family” Mendez said. “Put yourself out there and I promise you won’t regret it.”

Students take a trip while at exchange at Taylor’s University in Malaysia

If you’re looking to study abroad next Spring semester, don’t miss your chance. The application deadline for most exchanges is October 3rd, 2022. You can find more information here under “International Exchanges/Erasmus.”