Why study abroad? Why not?!

Friday, October 25, 2019
Omar Hachem holds Fanshawe Banner in Belgium

Third year Graphic Design student Omar Hachem conquered his doubts and travelled to Belgium to take part in a 3D modelling and printing class. Read his story below: 


Omar Hachem enjoying a stroll in Belgium

If you were given the opportunity to study abroad, what thoughts and feelings would you experience?

Would you be anxious and/or excited? Would you feel uncomfortable being on your own? Would you debate if it were a good idea?

And the most important question: Would you accept the opportunity?

These are all questions I reflected upon after being selected to participate in a 3D modelling and printing class at Artevelde University College in Gent, Belgium. It took me one week to construct my application letter and find the courage to click “send” on my email submission.

The best way to conquer your fears is to dive into the deepest parts of them. To find comfort in discomfort. To keep your hunger for growth alive. 

My experience in Europe gave me the chance to conquer a fear that had been on my bucket list for years. Needless to say, I booked my one-way-ticket to Belgium and was ready to embrace the challenges that were waiting for me on the other side.

The class ran from June 17th to 28th and I arrived in Belgium on the 16th. After completing the course in Belgium, I continued my adventure in the Netherlands and stayed there until July 3rd before heading home to Canada.

During my experience abroad, I was able to meet and establish lifelong connections with various talent from across the globe while creating new memories together. Being constantly surrounded by other creatives gave me a fresh perspective on new ways of approaching design projects. 

I have been inspired to continue honing my skills in the graphic design realm. In an industry such as ours, it is so important to be unique and to maintain your creativity.

Students in a classroom abroad

Studying abroad has also encouraged me to continue challenging myself in all aspects of life. The education you receive in a classroom doesn’t compare to the life skills you develop from traveling to a foreign country on your own. 

The minute you land in a new country, culture shock sets in—and you find yourself having to quickly adjust to a place filled with new faces and unfamiliar streets. You have no choice but to make the absolute best of the opportunity you have been given.

There is no escape route. No lifeline you can easily use. This new place becomes your home. 

It’s ironic, because as the last day draws closer, it feels bittersweet having to leave behind a world that grew on you. I can confidently say I am now open to exploring my horizons and not limiting myself when it comes to my career.

This chapter of my life was short-lived but is one I will always look back on and cherish. I am grateful to have been given the opportunity to study abroad and I look forward to seeing what the future holds.

There are many ways to include an international learning experience during your studies at Fanshawe. From short-term week-long field studies to 4 months on exchange; traveling alone or as part of a group; studying, volunteering or working; find the study abroad option that's best for you!

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