Why You Should Travel Abroad

I studied abroad in Paris during my spring 2018 semester. It was, hands down, the best experience of my life. Here are some reasons why you should study abroad as well!

Cultural-mindedness

Living in another country for four months opened my eyes and my mind to a ton of new experiences and perspectives. The French lifestyle is definitely different than the American, and I benefited by trying these out and learning new, healthy habits that I have brought back with me, like mindful consumption and relaxation. I also met a bunch of people from a ton of different countries while I was traveling, and speaking with them and learning about their home countries, getting to share in a little piece of their life, was absolutely amazing.

Travel

For many of the same reasons listed above, traveling is fantastic. But once you’re out of America, travel gets a lot easier and a lot cheaper. There are tons of websites for finding cheap flights, buses, and accommodation to travel to different countries for even just a weekend. The possibilities for travel are truly endless when you’re studying abroad.

Adaptability

I am a much more adaptable and flexible person now after studying abroad. I was studying in a city where the primary language was not English; although I speak French relatively well, sometimes getting around locally was a bit tough, as I was constantly trying to translate or understand directions and signage. Also, through my frequent traveling, I learned to adapt when things went wrong - like when I missed a bus, or accidentally took the subway in the wrong direction, or waited until I had been in Greece for a week before buying a flight home to Paris. (My options, needless to say, were limited.) Now, I know how to better express myself in situations where there are language barriers, and I know how to navigate a city environment.

Awareness and Tolerance

As I have been talking about this whole time, studying abroad led me to meet countless people from countless backgrounds. I encountered people who identified with political parties or religious organizations I had never even heard of. But I felt that my role was just to learn. When you are a travel- and global-oriented person, there is no use in harping on areas of belief where you clash with another person. Because of America’s current political situation, introducing myself as American garnered a wide array of responses. I shared how I felt when I thought it  was productive, but otherwise I always kept it lighthearted, and in turn I learned so much about other people’s countries and lifestyles as well.

Pride and Confidence

Studying abroad is the thing I have done that I am the most proud of. It took months of applications, health forms, immunization records, and obtaining a visa to even get over there, but once I was actually there, none of that mattered at all. I took it upon myself to do a ton of independent learning and traveling and I proved to myself that I am truly capable of so much. In turn, I have so much more confidence, and I am far more secure in my future because I know exactly what I want to do: travel and surround myself with globally-minded people.