Why Study Abroad?
It's now or never!
You may have plans for your life after graduation….most students think of getting a job or maybe going to grad school. Once you start getting used to that regular pay check, it will be hard to leave it to go overseas for an extended period of time. And if you don't leave your job, you will probably only get two weeks vacation. If you are in grad school, you will probably be too poor to go abroad! So let's be realistic, college is the best time to go. College students have the flexibility to go abroad for a semester or two and still gain the credits they need to graduate. The time is NOW - there is no LATER!
Travel to exotic locations!
In addition to living in a different culture, most students take advantage of being overseas to visit other locations. For example, students studying in Australia or New Zealand find it is relatively easy and cheap to get to Thailand or Japan during breaks. In Europe there are very inexpensive airfares all over and students can go from one country to another even on weekends. Go to Germany for Oktoberfest or to Venice for Carnivale! Ski in the Alps or sun on the beaches of Spain. There are many opportunities out there!
The experience of learning
Some students jump out of bed every morning when the alarm clock goes off, full of excitement to go to class and learn what the professor has planned for that day. But others find study abroad an exciting and different way of learning. Here is a little test: What is a more interesting way to learn?
1) A) Read about French art in a textbook, or B) go with your art class to a museum in Paris to see the actual paintings?
2) A) Hear a lecture about anthropological rituals practiced by the Masai in Kenya, or B) attend an authentic Masai ritual marking a boy's passage into manhood?
3) A) Practice ordering enchiladas in Spanish class, or B) order and enjoy real enchiladas in Mexico?
If you chose A in each situation, you probably should stay here. If you chose B, visit the Center for Interdependence soon!
What are you doing to prepare yourself professionally to take part in the global economy?
Probably you are already aware of the fact that globalization is here to stay. Maybe you are preparing yourself for this reality by taking extra foreign language courses. Maybe you have already gone overseas once or twice. But to really prepare yourself for living in a global society you will need international and intercultural skills. Studying abroad will help you get ready for the challenges of the future.
Study abroad also gives you important life skills, like problem solving, leadership and creativity. Students who have lived in a different culture say they feel prepared to take on new challenges, and have become more mature and independent. Often they report that an experience in another culture helps them decide important questions like what they want to do with the rest of their lives.
Study abroad can set you apart from the pack and give you important dimensions to the person you want to become. Study abroad changes your life.