What I Learned While Studying Abroad

Yes, I talk a lot about studying abroad. My study abroad experience was cut short due to coronavirus, but the two months that I was studying in Spain were truly some of the best months of my life, and I really did learn a lot about myself. Many people may be scared of going abroad, whether it be because you’ll be so far away from home, or you’ll miss out on what your friends are doing at school, but I really think that if your school offers you the chance to study abroad, you most definitely should. In the end, you’ll only be regretting the chance that you didn’t take. So, here are some things that I learned during my time abroad:

Time Management and Self Discipline: 

This one is so important. Sometimes, it’s hard to remember that you’re actually supposed to study when you’re abroad. You get so caught up in wanting to travel different places and explore the country you’re in, that it’s easy to forget due dates for assignments or set aside time to study. However, these classes still count towards your GPA, and you definitely don’t want to do poorly! This was definitely a challenge for me. I was taking two very difficult Spanish classes while I was abroad, and I really had to self discipline myself in order to do well in my classes. But it is possible, I still managed to get through my classes and have fun!

It’s Ok to Travel Alone (and you should): 

As we got about halfway through the semester, I was beginning to realize that not many other students were planning to visit Barcelona like I was. Barcelona was one of my dream destinations, and I knew that I would be really mad at myself if I didn’t go. Other people were going on trips by themselves, so why shouldn’t I? So I did it, I booked myself a flight and an AirBnB one weekend and went to Barcelona. The best thing about traveling by yourself is that you operate on your own schedule. You don’t have to wait around for other people, and you can see everything you want to see! By the end of the weekend, I was really proud of myself. I had managed to figure out everything on my own. I think everyone should travel alone at least once because it gives you a new sense of confidence! 

Budgeting:

It is REALLY hard to budget money while you’re abroad. From traveling to other places, going to museums, and buying food, I literally wanted to spend money everyday! But if you’re a college student like me, you’re probably broke. I had to sit down with my mom on the phone one day and really make sure I budgeted. It’s a very useful skill in the long run though! 

Going Out of Your Comfort Zone: 

While abroad, you learn about new cultures and get pushed out of your comfort zone. This may seem like an obvious one, but it’s so true! I have been taking Spanish since 7th grade, but had never actually been to a Spanish speaking country. This really was an awesome immersion experience, and I learned not only about Spain, but Germany, France, and even Morocco!

You Will Make Friends and Memories that Last Forever: 

I honestly feel like I left this trip with more new friends. At the beginning I barely knew the other students, but traveling and going on crazy adventures with them bonded us in an indescribable way. I know that going back to Manhattan, I’ll still talk to and hang out with these people. I made so many memories with people that I will never forget, and these memories will last a lifetime. 

I hope the lessons I learned abroad will encourage you to embark on a study abroad trip in the future!