Many students are now offered the opportunity see the world and enjoy a semester or a year abroad where they can expand horizons outside of a traditional classroom environment. If you are on the fence about whether or not you should take the plunge and pack your bags, here are some reasons to change your mind and go for it. Studying abroad can be one of the most memorable and life-changing experiences in a young person’s life, and it’s well worth the fear or concern that goes with it.
It makes you think bigger
Studying abroad provides you a new way to look at the world and your place in it. When you have remained in a limited area your whole life, you have certain perceptions and ideas of how the world should be. You might not be willing to see things from others’ points of view or you might only focus on the negative aspects of other cultures. Studying abroad helps you to reevaluate how you think about another culture after living there and how you can relate to other people in a new way.
It teaches you important life skills
Living at home or in a college environment doesn’t teach you some things about dealing with other people. When you are in these safe environments, it can sometimes be difficult to learn new things that can help you as an adult in the future. Studying abroad often requires that you attain new skills financially and that you form relationships on your own. There are plenty of safe cities around the world to grow and change in, and living in a foreign country can be a great way to do that.
It teaches you about what you like (and what you don’t)
When you are in a foreign country for an extended period of time, you begin to learn about the various aspects of a place that you want to include in your own life. Sometimes this means adopting a new way of cooking or language, and sometimes it means recognizing some things you don’t want to have in your life. You might love Italy, but you realize you can’t spend all day waiting for a meal. But you won’t know for sure until you try.
It shows you the ways you need to grow
Pushing yourself out of your boundaries can be difficult, and it can require testing your limits a little bit in order to fully recognize what you are capable of. You also learn the ways you can improve as a human being and ways you can connect with others. Taking yourself out of your comfort zone can show you that you are fully capable of accomplishing something that you never thought possible—and being in a foreign country can really make you feel tested.
Studying abroad can be one of the most rewarding experiences in your life. While it might seem scary to be so far away from friends and family, it is part of growing up and seeing what you can do as an individual. If you are still a little unsure, that’s okay. There are plenty of resources where you can talk to others who have been abroad and know the benefits of studying in another country.