Our 20s is the time in our life when we can be selfish and do the things that, later in life, we won’t have the opportunity to do. Studying abroad is the first thing that comes to mind as far as opportunities go.
Although I have yet to study abroad myself, fellow friends and I have decided to take advantage of this opportunity. Hearing about the adventures others have had has only further convinced me that studying abroad is something all college students should have the opportunity to do.
One of the main reasons a lot of students decide against studying abroad is that they fear they won’t complete college in four years. Surely we can all agree that it is a huge feat to graduate in four years, even though we go to a “four year university.” With that said, spending a semester or year in another country and learning different cultures first hand could teach us all more than a semester or year in a classroom.
Graduating when you’re 22 rather than 21 is not that big of a difference, but the amount of knowledge and experiences gained in that year of a difference is irreplaceable.
Another main reason that people choose not to study abroad is the fear of losing friends and being out of the loop when returning back to their university. With the technology today, it is not much of a challenge to stay in the loop.
The video chat, Skype, makes it feel as though friends far apart from each other are actually together at that moment. Being able to see their faces and catch up on everything that is happening and changing can help with the feeling of homesickness. Worrying about snail mail and never hearing from friends is an obsolete concept nowadays.
Although to be honest, it would be fun to receive letters from friend’s abroad, there’s something to be said about old-fashioned letters and how personal they are.
Students abroad also still have access to all their social medias. The only thing they are missing out on is day-to-day in-person contact. If their friends are true, nothing will change and the time apart will only bring them closer together.
Studying abroad brings up the stress of money issues. However, the adventures learned and seen will be far more valuable than the extra pocket money. We are college students anyway; we are supposed to be poor.
More than anything, gaining independence is something that will develop due to the not so comfortable situations that occur when studying abroad. It is scary to be put in a place that is unfamiliar, but when the fear is conquered, there is a self-fulfillment type of feeling.
From what my friends have said about going to a foreign country alone, they have adjusted and realized that being independent does not mean being alone.
It means meeting people and learning new ideas from them. It presents the opportunity to form and be a part of a new community, which will create lasting bonds and memories.
College students could all benefit from mixing up their everyday lives. Fear is not something that should hold someone back from the incredible experience that is studying abroad.
It seems that studying abroad gives endless opportunities to grow as a person and make choices without other’s influence.
Although it is scary to break from habit, it is one of the best experiences a person in their 20-somethings could have.
Hopefully everyone will have the courage to chase their dreams to wanderlust sometime in life.