Article by Gayk Ayvazyan
South-East Asia is the place where differences are treated as something ordinary and where the traditions are seen as priorities. Singapore is one of the states that really makes a difference when it comes to business and legal order at global scale, while preserving the sense of social discipline.
About a year ago I had the chance to study at the Law School of Singapore Management University. A semester abroad for me was a call to enrich my knowledge in law, but also to enrich my knowledge about a different culture. After everything, I achieved my goal and was happy to return home with a meaningful experience, but even more importantly I “enlarged my comfort zone”.
It might seem something ordinary to study abroad, however my story is in a way a bit more complicated! I come from Armenia, but right after my high school graduation I started my Law studies in Moscow, Russia. From this point, thanks to the competitive environment, I was motivated to strive for the best. Thus, during my first semester at the university I found out exactly about the Mladiinfo webpage, and I started looking for international conferences! After a while, I finally found a suitable conference in Switzerland and I applied for it. The topic at the conference, I remember that it was bit more difficult for me and also at the time my English skills were poor. But what was very important, for the first time I got myself out of my comfort zone and for the first time I was giving it a try. A single conference changed my perception of the world. I came back and decided to challenge myself further – to study in English language somewhere abroad. After a year I was already enrolled at the Tilburg University in The Netherlands and my undergraduate studies in their turn enabled me to also have a semester abroad in Singapore. For me it became sort of “study abroad from abroad” experience.
Gayk’s university in Singapore
In fact, it takes a split second to make a decision, but it might take ages to make a first step to realize it. That happened thanks to Mladiinfo! I could enrich my education; however this process was not a short or an easy one, and therefore many students of my age usually give up at the point when they encounter complicated application requirements. The truth is – in order to become a better person, each student should get out from the so-called “comfort zone” and be out of that zone as long as possible. The meaning is quite simple for me: the more we are out of the comfort zone, the more we can learn. After all, it will really pay off, since that comfort zone will be big enough to feel “great” on many occasions. Indeed this feeling is great when you can communicate with so many different people, make your way through any culture and, considering the difficulties, move forward faster and faster. I believe I would not have been able to enlarge and make my comfort zone vast enough, if it hadn’t been for that conference I mentioned in Switzerland.
In principal there is no scheme or theory of how to get out from the comfort zone, however I have developed some basic principles for myself, such as:
- What do I want to achieve?
- Might it make me better?
- What stops me from taking a step forward?
After I can answer these questions I take an action to get out from the comfort zone and start working on myself, because in the end of the day, this whole trip from Moscow to Singapore was not a task with a one-day duration; it was a challenging and adventurous trip that I had taken for quite some time and still have not finished, as Singapore was just one of the steps, but not the final one!
In the end, I realized that the study journey that I made somewhat resembles Singapore in a sense that I became more culturally rich, while having way more discipline and the knowledge of my favorite legal sphere.