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10 unusual reasons EVERYONE should study abroad

  • You’ll make friends in unusual places

Crazy things happen when you say hello to a stranger at a coffee shop. At home, its so easy to stick with our normal friend groups. But, when you are forced to start fresh, you can talk to anyone you want and hang out with new types of people you normally might not.

  • It gives you perspective on your own life and let’s you step back from stress

When you study abroad, you’re forced to temporarily let go and take a step back from clubs, jobs, and expectations you’d have back home. With all this free time, you can spend time wandering around while letting your mind wander. Sometimes it’s nice to be a little selfish and not to have to worry about outside stress.

  • You will discover new favorite food

When you study abroad, you’ll get the opportunity to try food you might not have even heard of before. If it’s a new type of pasta dish or type of tropical fruit, there’s lots of options out there for even picky eaters. Wasabi Jellyfish anyone?!?

  • You’ll never tell the same story at a party again

You never really know what will happen when you’re out and about in a new city. You might meet your soul mate or discover a hidden museum filled with the collection of your new favorite artist. Whatever happens, you’ll definitely end up with enough stories to last a lifetime.

  • It looks awesome on a resume

Employers love candidates who can take calculated, yet safe risks. Studying abroad shows that you’re willing to try new things and expand your intellectual opportunities. It also shows that you’re open to getting to know people who may have differing cultural or social values than your own.

  • You will gain valuable life experience

When you study abroad, you’ve got to accept what life has to throw at you and learn to cope.  Adapt. Overcome. Improvise.

  • You’ll learn to be self sufficient   

When you move to a new country by yourself, you have to learn how to do adult things like navigate a foreign airport or metro system in an unfamiliar language. Though this might be daunting at first, once you figure it out, you feel like you can conquer the world (P.S Google maps is a life saver, and works even better in big cities like Tokyo) It’s also important to keep in mind that there are good people out there who are more than happy to help if you are in desperate need of assistance! Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it.  I find it fun to keep little Colorado keepsakes handy, like stickers and patches, to show appreciation.

  • Your social media game will explode  

Everyone walks away from a study abroad with a million amazing photos. My favorites are the ones taken on accident or that are naturally candid. When I was in Japan, someone snapped a pic of the second a Nara deer bit me. My face was priceless and it made a great Facebook profile photo.  

  • You will gain valuable cultural insight

Cultural insight not only makes you smarter, but allows you to connect the dots between ideas and allows you to provide context to what you learn in classes.

  • You’ll catch the travel bug.

I’m sorry to break this to you, but once you start traveling, you can’t stop. There’s something addicting to the sense of adventure and adrenaline that traveling to a brand new place brings. After my first trip abroad, I made a promise to myself that I’ll never stop exploring new places.

No matter where you decide to study abroad, you’re guaranteed to have an amazing time! Even if you have an unusual major or a difficult one, still look into the options that are offered for students. You might be pleasantly surprised about how flexible many of the programs are. 

Ashley Hopko

CU Boulder

Ashley is a freelance writer and graphic designer based out of Boulder, Colorado. When not in class, she can be found serving on the executive board of Alpha Chi Omega, blogging about her many misadventures, or spending time outdoors.
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