Senior Jade Frank Tells About Her Experience Studying Abroad


Courtesy of Jade Frank

During her junior year, Jade Frank had the opportunity to participate in a study abroad program.

Current senior Jade Frank has just returned from participating in a year-long exchange program in Kaohsiung, Taiwan.

Frank initially applied for a year-long scholarship program to Germany, called CBYX (Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange) in September 2017, but later decided she wanted to study in an Asian country since she was already proficient in Japanese before her departure.

“There are many obvious pros of studying abroad, such as language learning, getting to travel, sometimes for a lower cost or even for free, depending on your program, and meeting new friends. I think the most significant pro is that you’ll be out of your comfort zone, which helps you improve where you need it most” Frank said.

Studying abroad is often done in second- or third-year university students, but there are many programs available to high school students as well. The program that Frank elected to participate in is organized by ASSE, which stands for the American Scandinavian Student Exchange. This organization offers high school, summer, and scholarship programs to over 30 countries. 

Being uncomfortable is always a useful experience and learning how to communicate will really benefit you in the future

— Jade Frank

When asked what the biggest challenge she faced in her time abroad was, she said, “My host family was terrible. Along with normal cultural differences, there were also other issues like my host sister refusing to shower or stealing my money.” Despite these challenges, Frank still managed to keep a positive mindset, which is a key characteristic in creating a successful exchange year.

“Studying abroad has truly made me step out of my comfort zone and learn how to engage with others despite my discomfort, thus improving my communication in both English and Chinese. Being uncomfortable is always a useful experience and learning how to communicate will really benefit you in the future” said Frank.

Frank advises prospective study abroad students to “keep an open mind, but if there’s no way to make amends with challenging people, a good option is to work with your exchange company representative, who can help you have a discussion with the people or even switch your host family.”

“What most students should keep in mind is that everyone’s experience is different in one way or another, so freeing yourself of a lot of expectations and keeping an open mind will help you fully enjoy your time abroad” said Frank.