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

Pack your bags and get your passport ready because Her Campus UFL is here to give you 14 reasons why studying abroad is worth every penny:

1. You’ll acquire new language skills. Perhaps you’ll choose to live in a homestay with a family that encourages you to practice the language, or maybe you’ll actually start paying attention in Spanish class. No matter how fluent you are or how much you’re bent on picking up the native tongue, you have no choice but to absorb at least some of it when you’re surrounded by words with funny accents. Sure, most people speak English in the cities you’d likely study in, but it’s to your benefit if you can decode that restaurant menu or be able to hold a four-minute conversation with the taxi driver taking you home.

2. You’ll revamp your wardrobe. When you’re lost on a random side street and stumble into a hidden gem boutique, chances are you’ll find that one-of-a-kind pashmina or hand-crafted leather sandals. But even when you’re not lost, there’s most likely an H&M on every corner, a market down the block, or a consignment shop next to your class. Whether you’re in a European fashion mecca like Milan or a quirky style epicenter like Tokyo, you’re bound to find a few items that’ll weigh your suitcase down.

3. You’ll learn the importance of responsibility. At a time when you’re constantly spending money, you’ll definitely learn how to manage it. In a place where pickpockets and scam artists run rampant targeting unsuspecting tourists, you’ll learn how to avoid them. You’ll learn how to stick to a schedule yourself because your parents won’t be there to wake you up for a 4 a.m. flight.

4. You’ll be a social media star. Unless you’re already wildly popular, this is probably the only time your biweekly profile pictures will break 100 likes and people will actually read your archetypal life blog. Your Twitter posts will rule with tweets like “Eating Brie and drinking wine next to the Eiffel Tower. #TypicalTuesday.”

5. You’ll get to travel. When you’re on another continent for more than a few weeks, you’re bound to take a train ride or two to the countryside an hour outside of the city and a weekend trip to those bordering cities and nations. If you choose to study somewhere in Europe, you have tons of diverse cultures just a short train or plane ride away.

6. You’ll get to experience crazy nightlife. Party in Ibiza with the hottest DJs, do the “Gangnam Style” with Psy in Seoul, or put on your dancing shoes at a tango joint in Buenos Aires. If you’re under 21, thanks to more lenient laws, you’re free to guzzle beers with the Aussies down under or eat absinthe ice cream (yes, ice cream) in Prague. Hemingway would be so proud.

7. You’ll have easier classes. That is, if you attend them. While rigor and frequency of classes depend on the program you choose, your grades probably won’t suffer if you skip that Sports and Society lecture on Thursday to venture off to Berlin for the weekend.

8. You’ll boost your résumé. International experience of any kind shows potential employers you can adapt to foreign environments, possibly communicate in another language, and understand international relations. Bonus points if you did an internship or part-time job abroad!

9. You’ll learn how to live independent of WiFi. The flip-phone age is back – it’s necessary for emergencies, but instead of refilling minutes on your junky Vodafone every other week, embrace your freedom from instant communication and the World Wide Web. Make plans with a friend and know that they’ll be there when you decide to meet. Have fresh-brewed coffee and enjoy it without intermittent Facebook checks.

10. You’ll make new friends. Americans in your chosen study abroad program might live close to home or go to universities across the country. Not only will you have an excuse to take U.S. road trips, but if you make a few international friends, you have an excuse to return and a place to stay when you do so.

11. You’ll gain a deeper appreciation for other cultures. While experiencing holidays and festivals is fun, you’ll take more away from your time abroad than just memories of Guinness pints on St. Patrick’s Day in Dublin. Traditions and customary behavior may be different from what you’re used to, but you’ll discover humans are univerally connected, even when world views, lifestyles, and daily routines are divergent from your own. 

12. You’ll eat the best food of your life. You wouldn’t leave Philadelphia without trying a cheesesteak, and you would definitely not return to the States without eating just about anything and everything. Street food, succulent side-shop pastries, and homemade delights – you won’t be able to resist the local flavors. Food is culture, so eating is an important way of immersing yourself in it.

13. You’ll become independent. Not only will you be able to navigate confusing metro lines to get to class, but you’ll also be doing virtually everything by yourself. Even if you took the journey with a group of friends, you’ll find yourself in situations that call for your own decisions.

14.  You’ll learn a lot about yourself and where you’re from. One of the best things about studying abroad is learning about new cultures and also learning more about your own. It’s just the inevitable result of spending an extended amount of time in a new place. While you start to feel at home in your host city, you’ll also realize how your roots are important to you. Those friends that made the effort to Skype you, the campus trends you didn’t realize you’d miss so much, the cleanliness of public restrooms – you don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone, so you’ll appreciate it more once you get it back.

So why are you still here? The world is waiting. Safe travels, collegiettes™!

Marisa Ross is a proud Gator alumna from the University of Florida's College of Journalism, where she had the privilege of working with the UFL chapter of Her Campus as a writer, blogger, and editor. Shortly after graduating in 2015, she spent some time abroad teaching English in Madrid, Spain, and voluteering with the press team for the Rio 2016 Olympics. Currently, Marisa resides in South Florida and is thrilled to be a part of Her Campus yet again, this time as the Branded Content Specialist for Integrating Marketing with the national team. In her free time, she stays active by training for races, playing volleyball, and doing anything outdoors or on the water. And if she's not daydreaming about her next travel itinerary, she's probably embarking on a cultural adventure to explore new cities, cuisines, and activities.
Cara oversees Her Campus Media's community department and serves as strategic lead for the expansion, development and management of all HCM communities, including the Her Campus Chapter Network, InfluenceHer Collective, College Fashionista, Spoon University, Campus Trendsetters, alumni and high school. She works closely with company leadership to develop new community-related sales offerings and the Integrated Marketing team to support all community-focused client marketing programs from end to end. Cara has experience working with high-profile talent, such as Jessica Alba, Andrew Yang, Amber Tamblyn, Aja Naomi King, Troian Bellisario, Jessica Marie Garcia, Nico Tortorella, Nastia Liukin, Rebecca Minkoff, Cecile Richards and Samantha Power, as well as brands like Coca-Cola, L'Oréal Paris, The New York Times, HBO, Uber, H&M and more. Having been a part of the HC family since 2011, Cara served as Campus Correspondent of the HC chapter at the University of Florida where she studied journalism, women’s studies and leadership. A New Yorker turned Floridian, Cara has a Friends quote for any situation. You can usually find her with her friends and family at the beach, a concert or live sports event or binge-watching Grey's Anatomy or Sons of Anarchy. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter @thecararose.