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Travelling Europe for food, fun and credit towards your degree

"Study abroad programs have been, without a doubt, the best part of my degree."

This article was written by and reflects the views of Lincoln James, who shares his experience travelling to Europe on a Deakin Business School study tour.

Over the break, between Trimesters 1 and 2, I had the opportunity to travel to Europe on the Euro Business Management study program.

While (happily) I’ve been abroad many times in my life: mostly Singapore where I have family, but also China, the Philippines and Thailand, I’ve never been to Europe before.

And, although I love exploring the unknown, I’m not one to enjoy getting lost in new places, especially without speaking the language.

This overseas program was a great taste of Europe. I’ve seen a little bit of it, now I can’t wait to see the rest.

During our time overseas we visited Angers and Paris in France, and Budapest in Hungary. Each city has so much history, with many buildings centuries old – but, for me the best part was the food.

From Nutella doughnuts in Paris…to steak tartare in Angers…to refreshing cool peach soup in Budapest…

The reason I didn’t bring back any photos of the croissants in France was probably because I was too busy inhaling them.

Another highlight of the trip was a visit to Cointreau and its distillery. The whole place was engulfed in the delicious aroma of oranges.

And of course there were classes too. Over the three weeks away, we learnt about European economics, French culture and language, and intercultural communication.

I most enjoyed hearing about the European Union and found it interesting to learn about its amazing engineering feats, including the Galileo satellite navigation system and the Airbus A380.

While study abroad programs look great on your resume and can be a good discussion point in interviews, I think the most valuable part of travelling overseas is experiencing how differently other countries operate.

Programs like the Euro Business Management study tour are especially great for students who haven’t been overseas before, because you’re with a group of fellow students (who you quickly become super close to), as well as Deakin staff.

Parents will no doubt find that reassuring.

Having said that, while some of the other students found saying goodbye at Tullamarine airport hard, I just wanted my mum to leave already so I could get to Europe (sorry mum).

We’ve since dubbed Rhonda and Jean, the two Deakin staff who accompanied us, our ‘travel mums’.

One thing I wish more students knew about, is the OS-HELP loan, which lets students borrow a substantial amount of money against their HECS loan.

For me, this covered food, flights, accommodation, program costs and even a bit of spending money.

Study abroad programs have been, without a doubt, the best part of my degree.

I cannot recommend them enough. Given the OS-HELP loans, and Deakin’s many study abroad programs; why wouldn’t you?

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