Why You Need To Study Abroad
Studying abroad is a great experience that everyone in college should take advantage of. I mean honestly, you get to travel all over the world at the expense of your parents. And by travel I mean get sh*tfaced in different countries, sorry dad but I'm not telling you something you didn't already know.
Most programs are not major-focused so this is a great time to explore different fields. I took awesome classes such as Food and Wine Tasting and History of the Italian Mafia. Oh and the best part was that they were PASS/FAIL. You were able to receive college credit by doing the bare minimum of work since an A is an equivalent to a C. WOOOO PARTY!
While studying in another country, it is mandatory to take an intro level language class for whatever country you're in. This is great because you can put on your résumé that you speak another language, even though all you will probably remember is the alphabet and how to count.
Immersing yourself in another culture will broaden your views and expose you to another way of life. Interacting with people of different nationalities will teach you how to communicate across cultures and will help you to further develop an appreciation for traditions that differ from your own.
People from all sorts of universities across the world come together to study abroad. You will work closely with these people through a variety of class activities. This is another résumé worthy aspect, since you can tell future employers “you can work with people with different viewpoints.”
In addition to making new friends you can form professional contacts. One of my good friends in currently studying abroad in Barcelona and has an internship over there in addition to her schoolwork. When she returns she going to continue working closely with them.
Traveling abroad will also help you to become independent since you are now removed from your normal routine. I was forced to learn the transportation system of a completely different country in a foreign language. For some reason I can't navigate the NYC subway system but I can figure out how to get from Rome to Florence to Venice and back again.
Managing your own finances is a tedious task and one that is perfected while studying abroad. Living in a new country will force you to understand a new form of currency and how best to manage it. Weekend travel ventures must be planned in advance and budgeted properly. Between booking flights and hotels, you learn how to get the most bang for your buck.
The best memories I have had thus far are all from time spent abroad. I still keep in touch with many friends I met across the world and the majority of the people I hang out with I met overseas. My friends who didn't have the opportunity to go said this was their biggest regret of college. It's one thing to read about the beautiful beaches of Lagos, Portugal but it's entirely different when visiting these beaches in person.
In addition to it being fun and exciting, this unique life-changing experience will help you grow scholastically, personally, and will help to prepare you for your future career. Many people believe going abroad is a luxury they can't afford but this is an invaluable experience that has to be taken advantage of.
College is the perfect time to study abroad since your only obligation at that time is being a student. When you enter the working world, taking months off at a time to travel is not practical or realistic. When you move post-grad, chances are people you met abroad will be living in the city you relocate to. This is a great way to become comfortable in a new city since you already have a support system in place.
Ashley Fern | Elite.
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