Why You Should Study Abroad in College
Studying abroad gives you the ability to travel to nearly anyplace in the world, meet new friends, and experience entirely new cultures. It forces you to sometimes be forced outside your comfort zone and take the leap of faith to experience something completely new.
If you are interested in studying abroad, you may be concerned about the number of credits that you’ll be receiving, if you can take required classes for your major in another country, or financial aid. Simply contact your adviser or the study abroad office at your college in order to get those questions answered so that you can focus on the incredible and memorable experience of attending a different university in a completely different environment.
Jonnathan Griffin, an undergraduate student at SUNYIT, is studying abroad in England (hence, his photography of London inside this post) for the spring 2014 semester and explains ten reasons why every college student should study abroad.
1. Meet new friends from all over the world
There is a saying, college friends last for a lifetime. At SUNYIT I’ve met some of my best friends that have truly impacted my life, but now studying abroad I am able to expand this network of friends to greater places. Some of my best friends here in England are Australian, German, Chilean, and British. But this doesn’t stop here. I am constantly meeting new people everyday from Hungrary, Netherlands and Scandinavia. No day is every dull!
2. Travel anywhere
Ever want to go on a vacation but longer? If yes, then I think studying abroad is for you! Studying abroad through SUNY, no place is unreachable. Through the SUNY network, there are a vast number of schools located in all parts of the world that are at your fingertips.
3. Learn a new language
Today being bilingual is more important than ever. Studying abroad to a new country can enhance your knowledge within that language. I have to say it is always fun learning new sayings in different languages! “Ich bin hungrig.”
4. Resume booster
Some might not realize the impact of studying abroad has on your resume. Today the world is becoming ever more global and the knowledge acquired abroad, and skills learned can land you that dream job you are working hard towards.
5. Become more independent
When abroad, you are forced to become more independent. No one is here to cook or clean for you; that is unless you make some really good friends. But while a main reason for studying abroad is studying, I am everyday learning how to travel in a foreign place, pay bills, communicate efficiently and cook “good” food.
6. Experience a different education culture
With a different society comes a different education culture. For example, did you know University is only three years in England, or every class has a lecture and seminar, or even most classes do not have final exams. To just name a few these are huge changes compared to the American education system. Later I will dedicate a whole post on just that; education in England.
7. New foods and culture
Tea and crumpets for me please? The best part about studying abroad is the amazing food! Within England, and Europe in general, there are a huge influences of multiple cultures from all over the world, which in turn means a lot of foreign restaurants. In Brighton England I have the option to go in town and purchase Pizza Hut pizza (if I want), or fresh kabob. Here the options are truly endless!
8. Why visit when you can live overseas
Planning a trip this summer to Spain or Germany? Why only stay for a short time when you have the option to live there for months at a time? From previously visiting Europe to actually living here, it’s is a huge difference. You are meeting locals, learning about the city you live in and able to experience more adventures.
9. Explore new hobbies or interests
Enjoy traveling, building robots or maybe you love photography like me? Studying abroad allows myself to explore new interests and hobbies I have always wanted to do. Interested in learning British History or artificial intelligence and building robotics? With the wide range of locations and universities offered for studying abroad through the SUNY network, possibilities for studying are endless.
10. An experience of a lifetime
Before leaving for abroad I do have to say I had some mixed feelings. I was leaving for 5 months, putting my life on hold and had no clue what I was going to experience. As I was in the airplane about to depart from Albany, I began talking to the lady next to me, and told her about my travel plans. The first thing she said, with a big smile on her face was, “You are going to have an experience of a life time.” She was envious of my opportunity as for many are.