Why You Should Consider Studying Abroad

College is full of new and exciting experiences. From joining an organization that is just right for you, being a part of a sorority or fraternity, and gaining work experience outside of the classroom, college has so much to offer, but the most exciting thing you can do in college is studying abroad. So many things automatically pop up in our heads when we think “study abroad”, good and bad. We think of countries we’ve always wanted to visit, monuments we want to see, and people we would never have had the chance to meet. However, we also think of languages we don’t speak, dangers of going abroad, and money that a trip like that would cost. As a student that has been abroad, I can tell you all of these things were going through my mind, but I’ll also tell you that every single second was worth every single fear, language barrier, and penny.  There are so many things study abroad can offer you.

 

Resume Builder

First and foremost, for those of you that are thinking, “What am I really going to get out of this academically?”, of course study abroad is a huge resume builder! Having a trip like that on your resume tells future employers a multitude of things: You’re adventurous and willing to go out of your comfort zone, you seize opportunities and make the most of it, you go above and beyond for your education, and you take challenges head on. Who wouldn’t want to hire someone will all those skills?

 

World Knowledge

A lot of people actually think that studying abroad should be mandatory in college. You learn and grow from it so much. You gain a better understanding of the world around you and can see things (literally) from the other side. You’re able to communicate with people you never would have been able to before and discover things about yourself that you didn’t know before. For example, it turns out I’m super adventurous. Before going to France (specifically Le Mans, check it out), I always felt like a fake adventurer. I liked to say that I was adventurous, but had no proof that I really was. After diving into a foreign world, it turned out that I wanted to discover it all and do everything. There were very few, if any, adventures I turned down while overseas. It opened my eyes to a world of travel and discovering that I am pumped about exploring in the future.

 

Self-Awareness

I touched on this a little in the last reason, but it still deserves its own discussion. Stepping outside of your comfort zone gives you a real life look at who you are. It is easy to say you know who you are when you’ve lived in the same town, state, or even country your whole life. You’ve adapted and built your own version of yourself, and when you go abroad that version of yourself can be challenged and even enhanced.

 

Life-long Friends

Whether they are a fellow American that goes on the trip with you or someone you meet abroad, you are most likely going to make friends that you never want to let go of. When you experience something like that with someone, whether you knew them before or not, it can really strengthen your relationship and build a strong bond. There are not going to be many people in your life that you can say, “Hey, do you remember when we went to the top of the Eiffel Tower together?”.

 

An Unbeatable Way to Travel

Including the payment to my University, my plane ticket, and all the money I spent on myself while in France, the grand total was around $4000. It might sound like a lot of money, but this included literally everything, from where I stayed, 8 credit hours, all my food, shopping, train tickets to other cities we visited, and even a weekend in Paris, for an entire month. When we think about how much we spend on a semester of school, which buys us our credit hours and maybe housing, I don’t know about  you but it seemed like more than worth it to me. If you are struggling to come up with the funds, don’t hesitate to apply for scholarships and grants, or even (do I dare say the ugly word?) a loan.

 

I have yet to meet anyone who says “I regret studying abroad.” There are endless benefits and I could honestly go on and on about my own trip for days, but these main points are just a few reasons why you will never regret making the decision to travel and broaden your horizons.