5 reasons why everyone should study abroad
So if you are in college and thinking about experiencing the world, what better way to do it then to study abroad. Personally, I chose Madrid, Spain but the location really is versatile but the experiences are what makes the whole thing worth it. So below are the 5 reasons, and I really could go on for hours, as to why you should study abroad.
Experiencing other ways of life: I cannot stress this enough; THIS IS SO IMPORTANT. Cultures are what makes each person unique. If you are like me, a cultural mut, it is hard to have a thick cultural experience. While studying abroad you can live with host families, pick up on new traditions, eat crazy delicious food and sharpen your language skills all while having the best couple months of your life. That not me glorifying it at all but me being completely honest. You will find yourself returning home a new you. A better version of what you once were. A person who understands that there are in fact other perspectives and ways of living.
Meeting friends of a lifetime: This goes for the friends you meet who live in your host country and the friends you are traveling with. I met some of the coolest people I still hang out with today on my study abroad trip. There is something about being completely out of your normal element/stereotype that brings out your truest form of human, and a lot of the time the people with you are experiencing the same revolution. On the other hand, not being afraid to talk to the locals in your host town/city is absolutely essential. They know all the coolest spots and not to mention they’re just flat out cool. Networking if you will is the key to success, this stands for professional success and personal. DO IT. (Tip: download WhatsApp, that’s how everyone communicates abroad and you can keep up with your friends when you return home too).
Learning you can do it: This is one of the biggest decisions of your life. It is scary, intimidating and exciting all at once. I get it, I’ve been there. When the study abroad fair or meeting or whatever it was came to my school, there was an abundance of people interested. My class when I actually arrived consisted of less than 20 students. BAM. It was so shocking to me that my class was so small, but realistically I knew why. It was expensive to fund, hard to plan and a lot of students didn’t want to miss out on stuff back home (FOMO-fear of missing out). It was hard to fund, I personally fundraised my ass off and waited tables at the time, but I would wait on the rudest most inconsiderate people in the world if I could do it all again. Not only did studying abroad make me realize I could truly live abroad but it made me gain a sense of independence. A lot of the times, if you are from a place like me, people in their 20s get stuck in their familiarity bubble. Don’t let this happen!!!!!! Which leads me to my next point.
Being uncomfortable: Learning how to be uncomfortable and being okay with it is the only way to grow as a person. Think about it. If you spend your whole life living in the same area, traveling to the same place in Florida or wherever and reliving the same experiences over and over…are you really growing? No. That is the bubble I was talking about above. Like the famous Peter McWilliams said, “To be outstanding – get comfortable being uncomfortable.” Live by this quote everyday. Ok, so you don’t know the language or you’re not fluent, so what get comfortable being uncomfortable. The only way I was able to properly become bilingual was LIVING THERE. Immerse yourself in your passions and succumb to those passions and wherever they may take you, like Madrid… you never know until you go!
It’s so damn fun: My last point on this post is straight up facts. Studying abroad is so extremely fun and exciting. Think about trying a hot fudge sundae for the first time as a kid or taking the training wheels of your bike. The feeling of anticipation for the next, the overwhelming excitement of trying something new. Now think about feeling that every day exploring new places, meeting new people, getting into something you would never imagine you would do in your life… like skinny dipping in the Mediterranean Sea with a few friends you just met after drinking way to much sangria…. FUN!
I hope I helped with my reasons why you should go… if not then you’re a dweeb because it was the best decision of my life. I hope you will experience the endless laughs, late nights and delicious foods I did while abroad.