Every college student should study abroad at least once during their college careers. While I may be slightly biased because I will willingly travel just about anywhere if the opportunity can present itself, I still fully believe that traveller or not the experience is one that everyone should take advantage of.
Personally I spent the month of January (Hofstra’s winter semester) studying abroad in Florence in 2015 and had an amazing time but I will fully admit that my experience was all my own and while great may not be the same experience everyone is looking for. I went through a program called CIS Abroad (who I highly suggest you should check out) and spent 20 days living in an apartment across from Palazzo Pitti with one other American and two Aussies while taking a culinary arts class (not the only area of study available during my time there) and I loved every minute of it.
Now that I’ve told you a little bit about my experience abroad let’s get to the reasons why you should study abroad…
- The Culture. When you study abroad you have the opportunity to really get to experience and learn about a culture in a unique and hands on way. For me I had a personal interest in the Italian culture but for you maybe it’s Germany, Brazil, Australia or Japan. In any case, living in another country forces you to learn your way around, pick up certain phrases and try new experiences. You become a temporary citizen rather than just a tourist.
- The People. The friendships that you will make with fellow members of your study abroad group will be some of the quickest and strongest friendships that you’ll make. When you’re thrown into a foreign country where you know no one and your peers are in the same boat as you the bonding happens quickly and it’s amazing. When you’re spending so much time together experiencing a new culture the memories that you make together are ones that you’ll always remember and the opportunities to have late night chats getting to know one another well are endless. I consider the people that I met in Italy to be like family, we certainly were a family during our time there.
- The Opportunities. The opportunities you have while in another country are so unique. For instance, while in Florence I was able to learn traditional Italian dishes from an Italian chef. That’s something that I wouldn’t be able to experience in Argentina; but Argentina would have different opportunities unique in their own right. No matter where it is you go, the opportunities you’ll have in that country are sure to be different than the ones you would have back home on your college campus.
Have I convinced you yet? I honestly hope I’ve at least gotten you intrigued. If you are considering looking into studying abroad but aren’t sure where to start I’ve got you covered. I hope you choose to study abroad and I would love to hear from you about your experiences if you do!