Everyone always says that college is the best four years of your life. However, one thing that people do not always recommend, or tell you about is the study abroad experience. Studying abroad is one of the most fulfilling and amazing experiences and should be a key component to every college student’s life. To spend a semester in a foreign country traveling and taking classes is something that is very unique and irreplaceable.
The process of studying abroad is a long and windy road, but once you arrive at your destination you will realize it is worth all of the effort you put into it. People can choose from a myriad of countries in which they choose to spend majority of their time, their home base. There are multiple programs that students go through where they get set up with housing, classes and obviously credits that they will transfer for you to your home university. Some of these programs include CEA, IES, and many universities have their own study abroad in… programs.
Studying abroad is a once in a lifetime opportunity and it allows young college students to travel to a country they have never been to before and experience the culture of not only that country, but an abundance of countries, which they may be interested in traveling to. It is both a learning experience and a chance to let you mature. Just some of the benefits of traveling abroad include:
1) You get to experience life in a foreign country with friends, or alone
2) You get to take classes taught by foreign professors with knowledge and expertise about the country you are residing in
3) You can travel on the weekends to any country you can possibly imagine, and for cheap!
4) You get to be on your own for 5 months with no parents and not much authority
5) You get to mingle with locals and other people that you would never meet if you weren’t abroad in that country
Above are just a few benefits of studying abroad. When thinking about it, there are truly no negatives to this process. From start to finish your home institution sets you up with the forms that need to be filled out and make sure you are taking the necessary classes and that you are going through a reputable program while abroad. Once that is taken care of you are in the hands of the foreign institution and are certainly well taken care of. In terms of classes, the programs ensure that you are getting a nice, well-rounded education and that it is not 5 months of pure partying in a foreign city.
Nightlife as well as traveling in/to these foreign countries are something that people who do not visit Europe will never get to experience. With programs such as Bus2Alps, trip leaders set you up with a place to stay and activities during both the days and nights in any country imaginable. This makes traveling easy as well as efficient since you will not need to go to a random country with no sort of itinerary. These programs allow you to get the most out of the short time you have in a certain place.
Allison Miszner, a student at the University of Maryland explains why every student should study abroad during college:
Some people may say that studying abroad is just too expensive. However, there are so many ways to make abroad cheap. There are so many scholarships available and student financial aid that is given out to students that need a little extra money. The programs themselves are just as much as a typical semester at your home institution, maybe even less. Once you are abroad, low budget travel is very common if you book trips far enough in advance. Using websites such as HostelWorld.com allows students to easily book a reputable hostel in advance.
Studying abroad is one of the most exciting events a person will experience in their lifetime. If you have not yet been abroad you cannot even fathom what the experience is like, no matter how many people tell you every last detail about their trip. It gives a person the best of both worlds, work and play, and allows students to come back as independent adults. You get to take a semester out of college to travel and experience a foreign culture with friends. I would recommend studying abroad to every single person I know because being abroad has changed the kind of person I am. I have become more mature and independent, as well as more tolerant to the people around me. I have learned more in the last few months about life and culture than I ever have being at home. It is an unforgettable experience and one that every person should be able to enjoy.