So you’re considering going on an international student exchange with the ANU. You probably have a few questions… I know I did!

You might be asking yourself if it’s a worthwhile investment of your time and finances? After all, you’re already attending one of the world’s best universities, where you’re surrounded by international students, a beautiful campus and you have access to some of the leading minds in your field. Is the experience really likely to help you out with your studies and future career? Personally, the answer has been a resounding yes!

I spent semester abroad at a business school (ESSCA) in a small French town called Angers. Situated in the beautiful Loire Valley, living in the city was like taking a step back in time. My morning commute had me walking over cobblestone streets, alongside a medieval castle and past many tempting French boulangeries! Even before I started studying, I knew that my experience in France would be unforgettable. The culture, sights and sounds were vastly different to my daily life in Canberra and helped to open my eyes to the way the world operates outside Australia.

As a student of international business, my studies in France gave me a broader perspective on the global economy. Living in the Asia-Pacific, we can sometimes overlook the importance of the European Union – the world’s largest economy and Australia’s second-largest trading partner. My time in the heart of the Europe, gave me a newfound appreciation for the role of the EU in global governance, finance and trade. The learning environment was second to none. My professors were all experts in their fields, challenging me to consider issues from a more global perspective. My interaction with my fellow students not only provided me with friends for life, it helped me understand global issues from a European perspective and improved my French language skills markedly!

Rory Linehan during his exchange semester in France – 2009

Since graduating from the ANU in 2010, I’ve used relied heavily on the skills gained from my exchange. Whether it be working in Canada’s largest marketing firm in Montreal, promoting the benefits of free trade to the Australian public in Canberra or furthering Australia’s trade and economic objectives in my current role at the Embassy in Washington DC – my exchange has proved to be invaluable. Academic experience is fantastic but the skills and knowledge gained from living and studying abroad have helped me immeasurably in my life after university. I thoroughly recommend it!

Rory Linehan in front of the Australian Embassy in Washington DC