5 Reasons to Study Abroad

We all have that one friend who has studied abroad in college and is always talking about how wonderful it was and pushes you and everyone else to go abroad as well. I am that friend, or at least I am going to be when I return to UNC Wilmington’s (UNCW) campus in the fall. I have always known that I wanted to and hopefully would study abroad during my college career and when the opportunity came this spring semester to study at the University of Stirling in Stirling, Scotland I jumped in with open arms.

So, if you are on the fence about whether or not you should study abroad or not -- you really should -- here are five reasons to help push you towards taking that leap into the world.  

  1. 1. You will get to explore the world

    Traveling becomes so much easier and cheaper once you leave the United States. Since I am studying abroad in the United Kingdom I have been able to find so many cheap or reasonably priced flights, trains and bus tickets to other European destinations. Since schooling is also a bit different around the world you may find yourself with more free time to explore and travel. The weekends are also another perfect excuse to get out of comfort zone and book that ticket to any destination. I have spent many weekends doing just that. I will also add that I flew to Ireland from Scotland roundtrip for a fraction of the price I would have paid to fly to anywhere in the US from Wilmington.

  2. 2. You will grow as a person

    As clique as it sounds, this is more than true. You experience and gain so much more independence than you could ever imagine. I mean you are living in a foreign country and you do not know anyone, so you really have to learn a lot to better adjust. This new environment and experience will allow you to better understand what type of person you are and how you deal with new and changing situations.

  3. 3. You will make so many new friends 

    From the moment you step onto your host campus, you will meet so many new wonderful people. If you want to adjust better then what better way than to go out and meet people. Not only is everyone at your host university so welcoming, but you will also bond with other study abroad students who you will soon be calling life long friends. I have already met so many wonderful people and now I have connections and friends from all over the world.  

  4. 4. You will be able to try so many new things

    Living and studying in a foreign country brings with itself so many opportunities and experiences that you would not have otherwise. It could be something as simple as trying a foreign food, visiting someplace new, or trying a local activity -- like going to a Scottish ceilidh (a social event filled with traditional Scottish music and dancing). So, just jump in and say yes because you may not get the same chance again.  

  5. 5. It will look good on your resume

    Many studies have shown the positive effects of studying abroad. A recent study conducted by Universities UK International found that students who studied abroad are 20 percent less likely to be unemployed in comparison to their peers. This also goes hand in hand with growing as a person, being able to try new things and gaining new skills because you studied abroad and that makes you stand out to future employers.

Cheers from Scotland! 

[Header photos courtesy of Oregon Institute of Technology] [Gifs courtesy of giphy.com]