Studying abroad is supported and encouraged at many Universities in North America. One could say studying abroad is a current trend, the ‘cool thing to do’ –on a similar scale to the new style of sneaker wedges most young women are dying to get their hands on. If you are interested in studying abroad, you should pat yourself on the back for already taking a step in the right direction. Personally, being someone at the end of my abroad experience I can say that there are absolutely no downfalls. Nervous? Don’t know what to expect? Not sure if you will fit in? Don’t worry, these are the thoughts shared by each student during pre-departure- you are not alone! Studying abroad will give you several benefits that will relate to your current and future life.
Finding Yourself. The 20’s are said to be the golden years, the years to embrace your youth. These are the best years to travel, trust me on that one! Spending time on your own without the comfort of your family and friends will bring out new personality traits you never knew you had. Throughout your travels you will find out new things about yourself, what you like and what you don’t like. Additionally, your priorities can change as well as your opinions on people, places or things. Things that bothered you may no longer do so when you return home as you will realize what you previously thought were of big importance are not.
Gain Independence. When studying abroad, you will learn how to do many things for yourself. Being a student is about branching away from home and learning the ropes of life, why not speed it up while doing it in a different country! After getting used to doing your own grocery shopping, banking, traveling, and cooking you will feel quite mature and independent when you have finished your time abroad. Once you have returned back home not only will you impress your family, you will feel more comfortable with yourself as a whole.
Be Culturally Diverse. Being culturally diverse is a skill set you will have for the rest of your life. This can help you in many situations such as interviews, future studies, or even casual conversations with friends and family. If you are studying in a destination with a different language, this will be even more beneficial to you. To this day knowing another language is on its own a big skill set that can help you succeed in the work force. I assure you, you will make many friends from all over the world!
Push your limits. Pushing your boundaries is the best way to experience new things and allow yourself to grow. Making the decision to study abroad is the start of your limit pushing. You will be surprised as to what you are capable of doing and how far out of your comfort zone you are willing to go. Do activities on your own, travel on your own, go bungee jumping. Yes, some of these ideas will be quite extreme for some but balance is key.
Warning: you will catch a travel bug while studying abroad. This is the concept of having the itch to travel all the time from this moment on. Traveling is contagious, addictive, like a drug. The adrenaline rush you get from it, the thrill of learning and experiencing new things is something will you seek to find for the rest of your life. All in all, studying abroad is an unforgettable experience everyone must try. I encourage you to find yourself, be independent, culturally diverse, and push your limits!