Study Abroad Ireland

Why You Should Study Abroad in College

The opportunity to study-abroad in college is one I didn’t take advantage of while I was in school. And I regret it.

It is an excellent opportunity to step outside your comfort zone, jump head-first into the world of travel, and learn new things about the world and about yourself. It’s also a great way to immerse yourself in the culture of a different country, while still earning credits toward your degree.

If you’re debating whether or not to take that leap for yourself, here’s what a few of my friends have to say about their experience studying abroad.

Mattea
Studied Abroad in: Spain

Study Abroad in Spain

Why would you recommend studying abroad?

First of all, it’s the most fun you will ever have!!! Seriously. Every day is something new and exciting. Second, it is a great way to get comfortable being outside your comfort zone. Yes, it’s an incredible amount of fun. But it does have its challenges, and everyone faces different ones during their study abroad experience. Whether you are trying to communicate in another language, battling homesickness, etc., you become a braver, stronger, more empathetic version of yourself.

Study Abroad in Spain

What did you learn while studying abroad?

  1. I learned so much it is hard to put into words…do not let opportunities pass you by! Sometimes opportunities involve work and challenges, but taking advantage of everything life has to offer is the best gift you can give yourself.
  2. EVERYTHING WILL BE OK. I struggled with homesickness when I studied abroad, until I realized that I was just taking away from my experience in the here and now. Don’t let things that are out of your control ruin your present moment.
  3. People are amazing. Okay, maybe I already knew that before I studied abroad, but it definitely reinforced that for me. I met so many people from different walks of life during my 4 months abroad, and every one of them made my experience. Our interactions and connections with others are what make life so beautiful.

Study Abroad in Spain

Scott
Studied Abroad in: Scotland

Study Abroad in Scotland

Why would you recommend studying abroad?

I would encourage people to study abroad because it’s a great way to get out of your comfort zone and experience things that will make a lasting impact on your life. It’s also something that a lot of people might not get to do once they start their career which is travel around different countries for 4 to 5 months.

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What did you learn while studying abroad?

  1. The world is a big place. For me I had never been out of the country before that point and to experience different major cities in Europe really opened me up to what’s really out there.
  2. Coming from Wisconsin I knew we were pretty big drinkers but Scottish people can definitely hold their own. I had more than a few good nights out at the local Scottish pubs and night clubs.
  3. It was really interesting to talk to all the people from different countries I visited to in regards to global politics. In the US it seems that any discussions about politics usually results in yelling and personal attacks. That wasn’t the case abroad and was really interesting to witness firsthand.

Study Abroad in Scotland

Hannah
Studied abroad in: New Zealand/Australia

Study abroad trip, New Zealand

Why would you recommend studying abroad?

The idea of studying abroad was very intimidating to me, but I always dreamed of doing it sometime while I was in college. I took the chance to apply to go to New Zealand and Australia during J-term for a Sustainable Business program, and promised myself that I would go if I was accepted. I had a major freak out when I was accepted, but I am so glad I went.

Studying abroad was one of my very favorite memories from college and I met so many people that were interested in the same studies as me. These people ended up being in a lot of my capstone classes and we were able to work together on projects and knew each other’s strengths. That was extremely beneficial.

There is no way I would have the time (or money) to spend 3.5 weeks in New Zealand and Australia if I were to go today as a non-student. Most of the planning was done for us before we got there which took a lot of the stress away from us. But we still had free time to do things that we wanted to do that wasn’t pre-planned, so we got to experience activities that we were interested in.

Forcing myself out of my comfort zone to study abroad was a huge turning point in my self-confidence and my ability to react to new experiences and places. I would recommend studying abroad to ANYONE who asked me about it. 110%.

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What did you learn while studying abroad?

  1. Make sure you take a lot of pictures, but don’t live your travels through your lens. The beauty and atmosphere around you will never be captured through a photo or video. By the end of my trip, I learned to put my camera down, and enjoy where I was and what I was doing. It’s great to have photos to show your friends and family when you get home, but it’s more important to have those memories and scenes forever ingrained in your mind vs. on your camera.
  2. Take chances and push yourself out of your comfort zone! Do things that you wouldn’t be able to do anywhere else and try foods that you wouldn’t normally try.
  3. I learned that I never want to stop traveling and exploring new places. The initial intimidation of studying abroad was immediately washed away when I landed in the most beautiful place I have ever been. There will always be the anxiety of getting to your destination, but what awaits you there is totally worth it!

Study abroad trip, New Zealand

Amber
Studied Abroad in: Africa

Study Abroad Africa

Why would you recommend studying abroad?

When I studied abroad I learned a lot about myself. I really learned to appreciate all the little things in life. It was a time of self reflection and a time to serve a purpose greater than myself. There is so much world out there to see and every experience is different! I would encourage someone to study abroad to take the opportunity when you can because once life starts, time flies and it becomes much more difficult to take time out for yourself.

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What did you learn while studying abroad?

  1. I learned every culture is unique and we have to respect it.
  2. I leaned to appreciate everything we take advantage of, such as the opportunity for education, healthcare, and running water.
  3. I learned that taking a step outside your comfort zone can bring you to places you could have never dreamed both literally and spiritually.

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Caitlin
Studied abroad in: Ireland and Malaysia

Study Abroad Ireland

Why would you recommend studying abroad?

I would encourage someone to study abroad be because it is a great opportunity to be able to experience a different culture while also still earning credits. And it also looks good on a resume. It pushes you outside your comfort zone and allows you to learn more about other

Study Abroad, Malaysia

What did you learn while studying abroad?

  1. I have learned that one of the best ways to grow is to be able to learn about other cultures and other peoples’ points of view. Some people get really nervous to travel to certain countries, but really anything bad could happen anywhere and anytime. Feel the fear and do it anyways.
  2. I’ve also learned that traveling and experiences are something that I would like to spend buy money on. Also people that you meet along the way make some of the best and most memorable moments.
  3. It has helped me to gain a lot of confidence. There’s something like successfully flying to another country by yourself that really makes you feel like a competent individual.

Study Abroad IrelandAshley
Studied Abroad in: New Zealand/Australia

Study Abroad New Zealand/Australia

Why would you recommend studying abroad?

It gives you confidence and independence that you haven’t experienced, as well as a new insight and respect for other cultures. I studied abroad in New Zealand and even though I wasn’t there for long, I still have a sense of pride for the country. It made me want to explore other cultures as well.

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What did you learn while studying abroad?

  1. I learned how other countries view American culture.
  2. I learned to be open to new experiences.
  3. I learned a lot about myself, that there’s still so much I don’t know, and that’s okay.

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