Jump at the chance to study abroad
Although the majority of people will tell you that studying abroad was the best experience of their lives, it still may be difficult for you to take the jump. Going to a different country can be scary and may push you out of your comfort zone. There might be other factors, such as funds or time, that keep you from going. Although those factors are present, the experience you get will definitely outweigh anything else. Last summer I had the opportunity to study abroad in Germany, Poland, and Denmark for two weeks. Six months later and the experiences I had there continue to affect my life today.
Life is short
When you are in college, it is crucial to seize all opportunities to grow as a person. You are still finding your passions, discovering who you want to be and what you want to do. There may never be another opportunity for you to leave the country for an extended period of time. College is the time you find your freedom, life-long friends, and once-in-a-lifetime chances like going across the world to learn a new culture. After college, many of you will settle down and get a job that doesn’t allow you to travel or explore often. Why not take every chance you can get to see the world?!
Jot it down
Because my study abroad experience was short term, the focus was on learning the culture and how businesses operate rather than taking classes. At the beginning, we were given a journaling assignment to write down our thoughts and experiences. I highly recommend journaling while studying abroad. Not only will it help you remember the trip years down the road, but it will also help you to better notice your surroundings in the moment. This will make your experience so much more valuable because it makes you think instead of being so caught up in the moment that you forget everything.
Learn from it
Studying abroad allows you to see the world in a whole new light. I have a greater appreciation for free water and bathrooms! I am more thankful for what I have, but also how I have potentially been doing things differently and not necessarily better. It makes me want to change the world around me and educate others. It has changed my way of thinking and made me more aware of the world instead of just myself. By studying abroad, I have learned valuable skills I wouldn’t have been able to learn in a typical classroom.
There is so much you can learn from studying abroad. The world around you is just waiting to be explored and cultures are wanting to be learned! Take the jump, and gain a valuable experience!
Sarah is a contributor to the Pearson Students Blog. If you are a college student and interested in writing for us – click here to pitch your idea and get started!