Five Ways Studying Abroad Changes You

Truthfully, I’m not the same person I was when I left home those two and a half months ago; and even though I’m still only halfway through my study abroad experience, I figured now was a good time to reflect on how studying abroad has changed me (and will most likely change you).

 

1. You become more independent and confident.

Studying abroad you’ll encounter many unfamiliar situations which you’ll learn to adapt and respond to. From living in a new country on your own, learning a new language, customs and traditions, and even traveling alone, you will become much more independent as a result of studying abroad. Along with this independence comes a much more confident as you realize your strengths and what you are capable of. You will definitely come home a more mature individual as a result.

 

2. You learn to respect diversity on another level.

While abroad, you’ll not only meet people from your host country but many from around the world. I’ve not only met Irish students, but become friends with other international students from Italy, Spain, France, and India, to name a few,  and I’ve not only learned about their cultures but about how to work across cultural and language barriers.

 

3. You gain new perspectives about the world.

Hearing stereotypes and vacationing is one thing, but studying abroad really allows you to experience a new culture and gain a new perspective on the world. No matter the country and how similar or different it may be to home, your outlook about the world will change and expand. I know mine has.

 

4. You begin to think big.

Studying abroad was a big decision for me, especially since I’ve never quite left home, even for college (which is about a 30 minute drive from my hometown). Before coming to Ireland I had never considered the possibility of living or working anywhere outside my hometown but that has now changed completely and I no longer feel limited by my fear to be away from home. And this has applied to all aspects of my life; I am no longer afraid to jump out of my comfort zone and to dream big and it’s completely exhilarating!

 

5. You’ll learn about yourself.

You will not only gain new perspectives about the world and your own culture, but about yourself as well. Studying abroad will make you reconsider your own values and beliefs, either by strengthening those values or changing them in favor of new concepts and perceptions. I personally have learned so much about myself and what I want out of life as a result of my time abroad.

 

Studying abroad is a time for exploration, adventure, learning, and growth so enjoy every minute of it and the changes in yourself that occur as a result.