College holds many lasting memories, lessons, and friendships, but there's always opportunities to expand your horizons. In college, you can do this through a study abroad program. If you’re the adventurous type and want to see what the world has to offer while getting a good education, choosing to study abroad may be an attractive option to consider. Before you begin this journey, it’s wise to do some research to consider the pros, cons and whether you should study abroad or not. Looking for some advice? Here's the real deal:
Let’s just rip the band-aid right off and start with the cons. One of the most obvious: culture shock. Trying to immerse yourself into the culture and environment could be a challenge, especially because the customs and mannerisms may not be the same. Don’t get too alarmed – this is all about being able to adapt. The second one: cost. Many study abroad programs are costly in terms of tuition. Also, the exchange rates in some countries may make the cost of living and discretionary funds for fun difficult. This means you will definitely have to stick to your budget. Your program may build in work experience, which is not only beneficial to your resume, but your pockets will love you too! The third con, and sometimes the hardest, is feeling home sick. This will be a true test to your “adulting” abilities. You won’t be able to jump up and go home for the weekend, and you’ll learn how to use all those apps for keeping in touch. This is all a part of growing up, and you’ll be grateful for the experience.
Now let’s talk about the advantages of studying abroad. You will learn how to live on your own – in the truest sense. This is a time in your life where you’ll be able to focus on doing things your way, setting your own schedules, making your own rules, and determining your own path. Many students come into their own while experiencing life from a different perspective. Don’t forget though … you’re in a new country. That means exercising all the principles of safety and the lessons you’ve learned. Another perk from studying abroad is learning a new language. There’s no better way to learn a new language than to be immersed within a different country. If you’re fortunate enough to have a program where the language is different, embrace it! You’ll have a great asset to use in the working world. One of the biggest advantages of studying abroad: you’ll make new friends, form new bonds and connections, and beef up your “international” marketability.
Overall, study abroad programs provide thrilling experiences you’ll remember for the rest of your life. There are a lot of things to learn and do, and many fascinating people to meet. If you’re up for the journey, start doing your research and be ready when the time comes. It could be the best thing you’ve ever done.