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Student Alex Agaranko in Australia

Student Alex Ogaranko in Australia, as part of the international student exchange program (supplied photo)

Take part in ‘eye-opening experience’ through exchange program

International student exchange program accepting applications until Jan. 31

December 2, 2019 — 

Creating memories, traveling with friends, seeing the sights in a new country – these were just some of the highlights of Alex Ogaranko’s experiences in the University of Manitoba’s international student exchange program.

Thanks to the program, UM students like Ogaranko can make lasting memories and participate in educational experiences around the world. In the program, managed by the International Centre and open to students across faculties, students can spend one or two terms of their degree programs abroad.

“It’s such an eye-opening experience – living in a different culture and having to adapt to new situations,” says Ogaranko, an engineering student who traveled to Griffith University in Australia in 2019. “I made friends from Australia as well as with other exchange students from around the world.”

Student Alex Agaranko in Australia

Student Alex Ogaranko in Australia

Studying abroad can bring about challenges, including culture shock and language barriers. The International Centre’s exchange partner schools are chosen because they offer courses taught in English, which significantly reduces the language barrier experienced by students on exchange. Students also receive pre-departure training to help them prepare for being in a new country and culture.

“Wherever you go, they will do things differently,” says Ogaranko. “Be prepared to go out of your comfort zone and keep your mind open to trying new things.”

In addition to new friendships and the opportunity to travel, Ogaranko also cited independence and self-growth as program benefits. “By having to do it on your own, you can gain a new level of independence you may not have had before,” he says, adding it was his first time living away from home for an extended period of time.

“If you’re interested in living in a different country – or if you have the travel bug – I’d definitely recommend going on exchange.”

The main application period for the exchange program is Dec. 1, 2019 to Jan. 31, 2020, with a secondary application period from March to April 2020. The International Centre can guide students through every step of the application process.

Students who are considering applying for the program must first visit the International Centre’s student exchange program webpage to learn about the program eligibility and process. They are also required to schedule an appointment with the student exchange coordinator to explore exchange options. They should also meet with their faculties’ student advisors to discuss how an exchange can fit within their academic programs.

Many courses completed at exchange universities are eligible for transfer back to the U of M. The UM currently has partnerships with international universities in Australia, Belgium, Costa Rica, China, Denmark, France, Ghana, Germany, Greenland, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, Japan, Kenya, South Korea, Mexico, Netherlands, Sweden, Taiwan, Ukraine and the United Kingdom.

Research at the University of Manitoba is partially supported by funding from the Government of Canada Research Support Fund.

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