The Benefits of Studying Abroad

There are a lot of misconceptions about studying abroad. Some of them are good and some of them are not so good. As of right now, I have been on two trips; once in Paris and one in Rome. During those times I have many discovered many positives that come aIong with the study abroad experience. Here are 5 benefits that I have come across during my time on my study abroad travels.


1. You (obviously) get to be in another country

Now, the whole abroad part of “study abroad” seems evident, however, being in a new country, gives you a sense of endless opportunity. For however long you’re there, you get to experience things you otherwise wouldn’t. Maybe this is just me, but everytime I go somewhere new, I feel a thrilling sense of energy and optimism about what’s to come and all the new adventures that I will no doubt be having.


2. Getting to learn in a new setting

Now, most people think of study abroad as one endless party, but a huge part of it is actually studying. There’s usually a sizeable amount of work that comes with the trip, since it is usually counted as 3 credits when the course is completed. Be prepared to study and take the time that you have in a foreign place to really get your money's worth. However, there’s an upside to all the work and studying in a new setting. You’ll be able to actually experience what you’re studying in person, like seeing an actual piece of art or speaking the language that you’ve been learning.



3. Experiencing another culture

Wherever you go, the place is sure to have a completely different culture than the one that you’re used to. In my own experience, it’s difficult to acclimate to the particular culture and their everyday rituals at first, but soon you will become accustomed to the native way of life. Some places don’t eat breakfast, others have dinner at 9 at night, some only take the metro, while others only utilize buses. As intimidating it may seem you will definitely get used to the culture shock. Before you know it, you’ll be acting like a native in no time.


4. Meeting the Natives

There is nothing more fun than learning about the culture through a native person’s perspective. Getting to know and talk to those who actually live in the country can be some of the most eye-opening experiences you can have on your study abroad trip. For me, I learned the most about myself when I had the opportunity to communicate with the people that were from there. It was even better, for me at least, when I could speak with them in their own native language.


5. Making new friends

As cliche as it might sound, I have made friends that I still have to this day on trips that were only a week long. It is amazing how close a group of people can become in such a short amount of time. If it weren’t for my study abroad trips, I wouldn’t have been able to have met half the people that were on my trip, since we have completely different majors or were from different years. Without the trips that I have had the opportunity to go on, I wouldn’t have met some of my closest friends today.


I wouldn’t trade the experiences that I have had on my study abroad trips for anything. Not only have they ignited my passion for travel, but have given me the opportunity to expand my own cultural understanding. These trips have left me with memories to last a lifetime, and truly are some of my most treasured adventures I will never forget. Studying abroad is a great way to get out of your comfort zone, and finally experience something new.