Doug McCorquodale, BA International Business and Tourism Management

The generosity of Sir Alex’s Mobility Award has helped me realise a lifelong ambition – studying in another country.

The experience was genuinely a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and, as a result, I’ve created memories and friendships that will last forever and enhanced my career opportunities. The work Sir Alex does for students like me changes lives.

I was lucky enough to be awarded a Moffat Scholarship, too, so I was able to focus on my studies instead of worrying about juggling work when I spent a semester at Toronto’s Ryerson University.

I had wanted to study in North America for so long. Studying abroad was actually part of the reason I wanted to come to university; not particularly to enhance my career prospects, I just wanted an experience for myself. It was everything I wanted it to be. I lived my dream.

I didn’t really have any focus when I left school so I worked and travelled, for example to Spain to learn the language. Then I began to see my friends graduating, so I went to City of Glasgow College, then joined GCU. I’m glad I took that time to gain experience and confidence as I don’t think I would have been prepared for university if I’d come straight from school.

Studying abroad boosts your confidence in the same way. I’d encourage everyone to do it. Anyone who has studied abroad will tell you that it is one of the best things they have ever done – and it is. Of course there are barriers, such as finances, but support is available at GCU and you don’t even have to travel that far. You could travel with Erasmus and stay in Europe.

The phrase ‘once-in-a-lifetime opportunity’ is thrown around a lot but it’s true. Get out of your comfort zone because you’ll never get a chance like this again.