Jessica Rutter

Subject area

When choosing which course to study at university, I was still unsure about what I wanted my future career to be. I knew I needed to pick something I was interested in and also left me with a wide variety of options for future careers.

For me there wasn’t a better course to choose than Psychology – after all what’s more interesting than people? I also knew a study exchange was something I definitely wanted to do and did not even consider universities that didn’t offer this opportunity.

I was hoping that studying abroad would expose me to new ways of learning and teaching methods, bring new perspectives, and challenge the paradigm and norms I was used to.

I was also excited about the new level of independence it would bring and the personal growth I knew I would gain from a year abroad. Most of all I knew this was an opportunity I would only get once in my lifetime and one that could not be missed no matter how daunting it might seem.

I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to study at Maastricht University in the Netherlands for a year. My study exchange has done everything I had hoped for and more. It has put me out of my comfort zone and challenged me to adapt to a new environment in a different country with a different language.

Jessica Rutter

I have become more confident and self-assured than I ever imagined and I now feel prepared for my final year in Loughborough and my future thanks to my year abroad.

For my future career aspirations, building international relationships and gaining an understanding of the workings of another country has been an excellent addition to my knowledge and understanding of different perspectives on global issues.

Gaining real-life experience of living in another country as well as personal and academic contacts for future professional liaison is a great asset.

Following graduation, I am hoping to have a career in national security or major crime units with links to international relations, as well as counterterrorism and counter-espionage.

I met some amazing people over my year in the Netherlands that will be friends for life and made memories I will never forget.

The style of teaching - Problem Based Learning (PBL) – and the modules I took were also major highlights. They were so different from modules in Loughborough and less focused on mainstream psychology. My favourite modules were ‘Neuropsychology and Law’ and ‘Psychedelic Medicine.’

During my study exchange the support available to me from Loughborough was amazing, especially given I was in another country. My exchange coordinator was extremely helpful and organised calls to see how I was getting on and if I needed guidance at other times, he was always happy to organise another call.

My main piece of advice to anyone planning to study at Loughborough is to definitely consider doing a year study abroad, even if it’s something you had never considered before.

It was the best experience of my life so far and I gained so much from my year in Maastricht. No matter in which country you complete an exchange, you will learn so much about yourself and grow so much as a person, as well as make loads new friends from all over the world and have an experience you will never forget.

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