Is 22 too old to begin studying at university abroad? Watch

emma-louise001
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Bit of background info here: I'm currently 20 and after two different attempts at starting uni degrees in the UK (I was accepted both times - just each time decided it wasn't what I wanted) in January 2014 I started a year-long contract job at City Hall in London.

So currently, I'm deciding what I want to do next, come January 2015 when I leave. (I could have the option of staying on and interviewing for other internal jobs, but at this moment in time, that's not what I want to do). I had always had in the back of my mind beforehand and when I started this job that I would like to go to university one day before, say, I turned 25, but I didn't want to rush myself into the wrong degree or university.

So after hearing from some friends who currently study abroad (both US and Australia) and some others who have just been accepted, and having spent a LONG time thinking about it, I've decided to do more detailed research into it and apply to universities in Australia and the US. I would be applying for 2016 entry (with the view to both travel and strengthen my future applications between now and then).

However, my question is, do you think I would be 'too old' to be starting a university degree at the age of 22? Particularly in Australia where the majority of people go to university aged 17. I know it sounds slightly ridiculous that this could be the main thing worrying me right now, but I'm just afraid I will move all that way for a committed four years and never feel 'fully' integrated into university society or get 'maximum out of it' because of some age gap (not that I would try and let it hold me back at all!!). I just almost have a down-hearted feeling of 'my time has been and gone' since all my friends my age have just finished their 2nd years and yet here I am talking about not even starting my 1st year for another TWO years… I know there's nothing I can do about it now, but I can't help feeling I would have got 'more out of it' if I had gone to study abroad at the same age as my peers/the people I would have been studying with. But I also know that I was no way mature enough at 18, or even 19, to go and study abroad. And then I also have to think about the fact I'll be 26 when I graduate. Does that sound too old to be starting a 'new life' after graduating from abroad and all of a sudden having those new life experiences that the 21 year olds in my classes would have just got?

What are your thoughts? (I know its more of a personal opinion, but I'd be interested to hear, particularly from anyone whose had experiences of being mature students abroad!!). Thanks so much.
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kopi, ffs
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I haven't been in your position exactly, but here are my thoughts anyway:

1. When I started at uni, I'd already taken a year out, and I'm afraid that even that meagre experience made me feel like my peers' newfound freedoms and experiences were banal. But then I stopped feeling so superior and just immersed myself in uni life and it was cool.

2. During my time at uni (aged 18-21) one of the girls in my class was three or four years older. She became my closest friend of the lot and I wouldn't even have known she was older if she hadn't said so. However, I do think she missed out on the experience a bit because her life was already quite developed (long-term boyfriend, previous life experience etc.) and she was very aware of that and let it hold her back.

3. When I first went abroad in earnest, my entire friend group was 4-5 years younger than me (16-17), and it didn't make the slightest bit of difference - they became some of the best frens I've ever made.

4. In some countries (Germany I know, and doubtless others), 26-27 is the normal graduating age.

The morals of these disjointed scraps is that you're only as old as you feel, and that your outlook will define whether your experience is a success or not. So you should go ahead. :fluffy:
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GingerGoat
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It really isn't that old, as the poster pointed out above, it's very normal in continental Europe. And it really won't matter. My girlfriend is from Germany and is only starting at age 21, whereas I've just completed my bachelors at the same age. And that's completely normal for her. The fact is you could argue that we go to university far too early in this country and don't give ourselves the best opportunities by going so young. Ask yourself, what is really the difference between 22 and 17? It's the experiences that you acquire that you make you old, not a simple number!

Hope you make the best decision for you
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barnetlad
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Not at all.
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Baron of Sealand
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No.
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emma-louise001
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Thank you for all your wonderful answers! It's made me feel much better and like I know I'm making the right decision for me

(I particularly agree with the 'you're as old/young as you feel' idea! I mean one of my good friends at work is 25 so clearly I can make friends older than, I'm sure I can make good friends younger than me too! So that's quite comforting to know).
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racheyroo
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No its definitely not too old, I think in some countries people don't start uni until they are 21 or even older
If it's what you want to do then don't let a couple of years between you and someone else stop you
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