You have read all my blogs so far, and I have said nothing but good things about my time in Sweden. However, it is not always sunshine and rainbows; you sometimes have to endure uncomfortable experiences and learn to advocate for yourself. This blog will discuss the importance of communication as I share an inconvenient experience during my time abroad.
The teacher-student relationship is a very important relationship to build as early as the first impression or this can affect the student’s performance. However, as expected, when a student has a lot of teachers, it is not always expected for the student to be besties with every instructor. This relationship can sometimes require a bit of work/ effort from both the student and teacher, but usually, if the first impression was good it is not too difficult – speaking from past experiences. At the start of my abroad experience, I had an interesting first impression with one of my professors and did not establish a stable foundation for our teacher-student relationship to spark. I instantly felt excluded from the class, and when I was struggling, it became a bit difficult for me to ask questions or request help because the environment was not the best, and the lack of teacher-student relationship decreased my confidence.
The course went on for a bit longer, and after some time, I realized that I needed to bring this issue to light because it was affecting my learning. I reached out to the instructor over email and communicated my concerns. I also took matters into my own hands and discussed my concerns with the academic advisors at my abroad program. This process was a bit out of my comfort zone, but it was necessary because if I did not communicate my concerns, I never would have seen a difference. As a result of expressing myself, I noticed that I was not only heard but actions were made. This was shocking to me because I did not know what to expect from this conversation. Receiving this positive feedback was a reassurance to me that there is power in advocating for yourself.
It is extremely important to be transparent and discuss the issues that one can face in an experience that seems merely too perfect to believe. My time abroad was great, and this inconvenient experience did not discredit my overall time abroad. This issue affected my class and learning; however, it taught me the importance of communication. As I shared with the instructor and academic advisor, I noticed that there is power in advocating for oneself. Although this was an awkward situation as I mentioned, it allowed me to shift my overall experiences, and it made me feel at ease because I was heard. I hope this blog encourages you to always communicate because people are not able to read your mind, and the changes you want to make won’t happen until you step out of your comfort zone and advocate for yourself.
Continue to be great & see you soon,