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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at St Olaf chapter.

Applications are being sent out, programs are being advertised and everyone’s talking about it.  “Where are you going next year?”  “Will you be here over Interim?” “Are you going to Spain too?”  If you’re unsure about studying abroad, consider these benefits of traveling during this decision process:   

1. Save money

Travelling is almost always cheaper in college! The package costs we have to pay for study abroad at St. Olaf are much cheaper than planning an entire trip on your own. If you’re hoping to save travelling for after college, you’ll also be faced with student loans, debt, and all the other costs that come with being grownup.

2. Change of surroundings

The Hill is definitely a great home, but everyone could use a break once and awhile. Not only would you be getting out of Northfield, but you’d be escaping the entire country! A change of scenery can be very enlightening and refreshing.  

3. Friendships

Spending a month or a semester in an unfamiliar setting will undoubtedly result in close bonds and friendships. You’ll meet people from St. Olaf that you may have never run into otherwise, and you may even make lifelong connections abroad.    

4. Food

How could you deny a break from caf food? Studying abroad will give you an opportunity to try new foods, experience different cultural customs and maybe even appreciate your favorite American dishes even more. The key is that you get to try new things!


5. Broaden cultural understandings

Any form of travel will likely change your worldview, as long as you go in with an open mind. Travelling will help you appreciate other cultures, acknowledge and praise diversity, and broaden your horizons from your home town, state, and country.  

6. When else can you do this?

College may be one of the last times that you aren’t tied down to a demanding job. Take advantage of this opportune time in your life as a college student and go explore the world!

7. Become more independent

Travelling in another country, trying new things, and navigating a completely unfamiliar place will make you more self-aware, confident and independent.  You likely won’t be able to use your phone or computer that much, so you’ll be entirely responsible for yourself, your safety, and your belongings.  This may be different and uncomfortable, but it’ll also help you learn and grow!  

8. (Likely) better weather than Minnesota

Let’s be real here.  The weather will probably be warmer and more dependable than Minnesota’s during January. Take this opportunity to change your surroundings and enjoy a more comfortable climate.

Good luck planning out your future excursions!

Study Abroad, money, sceneryfriendships, food, culture, when else?, independence, weather