The chance to study abroad is a great opportunity that’s offered at Boston College. The Office of International Programs (OIP) has many semester and year programs (both BC-sponsored and external) to choose from all over the world. And if you’re just so busy with your major that you can’t go abroad during the year, summer programs help by giving you a taste of it.
According to the OIP website, just about half of BC students will go abroad during their four years at BC. Many people who don’t study abroad either can’t due to their busy majors or they have FOMO (fear of missing out). As a study abroad alum, I STRONGLY urge you to go abroad if you can. Why? Let me give you some reasons.
An experience literally unlike anything else
When else can you say that you walked home through the streets of Madrid at four in the morning? Or that you watched the Giants win the Superbowl in a bar in Paris? Or that you went to Sensation White in Belgium and danced your butt off for nine hours? You can’t say any of this unless you take the plunge and study abroad. (You just can’t.)
Make new friends
I became great friends with my host sister, who was always willing to help me out when I needed it. And I made some other international friends at my French university. Making friends in other countries is a great excuse to go visit them in the future! But the best part was meeting other students at BC. We spent a lot of time together, and we could always count on each other.
BC in Paris!
Travel! Enough said.
I fully took advantage of this opportunity and visited fourteen different cities in ten countries while studying abroad in Paris. Try and beat me, I dare you.
Experience different food
Hands down one of the best parts. French cuisine is awesome, and real-life Italian food? I nearly died of happiness.
Heaven on Earth
Learn or perfect another language
I lived with a host family and took all of my classes in French, so I had no choice but to speak French every day! My comprehension and ability to have conversations in French improved the more time I spent in Paris. Being fluent in a second language is also a great opportunity for the future after you graduate.
Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna
Get out of your comfort zone
Doing something completely different is scary to most people, including me. But I learned how helpful it was to get out of my comfort zone and just immerse myself in French culture. And if things are going wrong, take a deep breath and remember why you’re there.
Don’t worry, you won’t miss out on everything
The fear that you will miss out on a semester at BC is something that everyone that goes abroad thinks about. And I would be lying if there were moments when I wished I were back at BC. But I PROMISE you: studying abroad is something you’ll never forget.