Kaja Kubicka, the author, was born in Poland and moved to Denmark when she was about 12. She later attended Fudan University in Shanghai, grad school in France (with more study abroad in Asia during that). She documented her time at Fudan University and continues to document her travels on her Youtube channel.

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Not having studied abroad and, at this point, not having the opportunity to do so (I already have two Masters degrees, besides age and other adult responsibilities), I thought it would be interesting to learn about what I missed in not studying abroad.

Kaja’s book is about her experience of life as a student at Fudan University in Shanghai, China.

Her book captures the experience through retelling of anecdotal stories of activities, events and other students. Her narrative is well written, easy to read and flows right along.

Today I see study abroad as essential for most college students – and mandatory for students in many fields as well as any student aspiring to move eventually into management.

Our world today is a globalized world. Those who have the experience and skill to live abroad, work abroad, or just to navigate the international business environment and to seize international opportunities are those that will advance in their future careers.

To be clear, 100% of my own peer group has studied abroad, lived abroad, worked abroad, or at least done extensive international travel. 100% of my peer group that moved up into management had extensive international experience. I cannot emphasize enough the importance of international skills in the 21st century.

Prospective study abroad students may wish to check out her experiences. Of course, your own experiences may be very different – based on country, university, your own cultural background, and your own lifestyle choices. Still, learning what others experienced may be helpful in gaining insights into your own future options. Realistically, Kaja is more adventurous than I – having chosen to attend Fudan without much advance prep. Me, on the other hand, would have over planned the experience!

Two of my own 3 “kids” (now adults) studied abroad. One at St Petersburg, Russia and the other in Wales. Needless to say, I now understand that as parents we should have visited each during their study abroad so that we too could have learned something international; but alas, we did not visit.

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