“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.” – Mark Twain
1. It’s an experience you’re not likely to get at home
It’s a once in a lifetime experience to immerse yourself into another country, community, and culture as an undergraduate student. Yes, Miami, California, New York, and Washington D.C are great but think bigger, like the United Kingdom, Japan, Australia, South Africa and Brazil. Just imagine the experiences you could have internationally.
2. You get to live in another part of the world
Maybe this isn’t the most enticing thing to you right now…but you’d be surprised how uncommon it is for people to be able to say, “Yeah, I actually lived in another country for a period of time”. And many of those who were fortunate enough to have the opportunity will most likely tell you it’s an unforgettable experience.
3. This is probably one of the only chances you will have to travel without the need to fully finance it on your own (depending on the career you are pursuing).
There are surprisingly many scholarship opportunities to study abroad. One of the larger scholarships I received was from the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship. They specifically look for students who have limited financial means but would like to study abroad. So I would highly recommend applying, especially minorities, first generation college students, and students who are studying a critical need language. I also received scholarships from the Drexel Study Abroad department. That being said, it is a myth that study abroad is always crazy expensive because you can probably get help with financing it.
4. Personal development
Moving to an entirely new country forces you to be independent in a way that you may have not been forced to do in college. You begin to rely on others less and will begin to take more responsibility for yourself, since you don’t really have much of a choice here. And overall, you begin to learn more about yourself as a person.
5. Professional development
Study abroad looks greats on any resume. You lived in another country and most likely gained some international skills. Study abroad also gives you the chance to experience what a career that incorporates travel could look like for you.
6. Gaining a new perspective on your own culture
Obviously, we have our own view of our cultures, but it’s really interesting to see how people from around the world view your culture and it may actually impact your own views.
7. Appreciation for the little things
Gushers, kettle corn, Old Bay, salty french fries, pancakes, my diffuser, my favorite curly hair products…. I think thats it….But in all seriousness, studying abroad really makes you reflect on the little things you most likely took advantage of at home. It only took 3 days in London for me to realize how much I missed Gushers…thats something I wasn’t even aware of.
8. Encourages you out of your comfort zone
Being without the comfort of your home, favorite foods or closest friends is actually a really good thing to experience while you’re abroad. So you really do not have a choice but to branch out and try new foods, talk to new people, and visit new places. It opens your mind up to new experiences that your probably wouldn’t have had at home.
9. Traveling may become a new hobby
If you gained anything from your study abroad experience, this will most likely not be the last time you will travel. You have now seen what one part of the world looks like, but now you begin to wonder what all these other countries are like. Some may say that study abroad is a gateway drug, which will ultimately lead to a travel addiction…or maybe I’m just speaking for myself.
10. You won’t be that one college graduate that looks back and says, “My biggest regret is that I didn’t study abroad.”
I feel like we have all met at least one graduate who has said this. Simply put….don’t be that graduate!