5 Reasons Why Every College Student Should Study Abroad

5 Reasons Why Every College Student Should Study Abroad

5. You will make some of the best memories in your life

Over spring break, I went on a study abroad trip to Portugal and Spain. Signing up for this trip was totally out of character for me. I am a homebody and don't enjoy travelling very much. But I have always wanted to go to Barcelona and Seville, which were two of the cities listed on the itinerary. AND the trip was through the nutrition department, meaning it was all about Mediterranean cuisine. Our group would get special cooking lessons and private tours of olive oil factories. Everything about this trip was meant to be, so I just went for it and signed myself up.

I have to admit, I was an absolute nervous wreck before I left. I didn't know anyone else going, I didn't know if I would like the food we were going to be cooking and eating, I didn't know how to speak Portuguese or Catalan, and I don't like planes. I was so afraid that I would be miserable and feel out of place the whole time... but that was not the case at all. After experiencing it myself, I truly believe that every college student should study abroad if he or she gets the chance, and here are a few reasons why:

1. You will meet/get to know some of the coolest people

Like I said, I didn't know ANYBODY going on this trip. But within the first few minutes of being in the airport, I started talking to and bonding with some amazing people. Everyone got along. No one was mean. Everyone included everyone. I felt like I belonged. Not once did I feel isolated or unwelcome. The people I met on this trip were some of the coolest people I have ever met in my life, and I know we aren't just going to stop being friends now that we are back home.

2. The people and lifestyles in other countries are so interesting

Europe has a completely different atmosphere than America. The people are much more laid back, not rushing all the time and over booking their schedules like we do. They take their time. They see drink socially rather than just to get obliterated. They eat MUCH later than we do (and smaller portions, too). They have dance parties on Sunday nights and let wave foreign college students into the ballroom to join them. They are more active, opting to walk or ride a bike rather than drive, and there are more Vespa scooters on the streets than cars.

3. Authentic cuisine is bomb a

I don't really like rice, but I could honestly eat paella for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Authentic paella is nothing like the knock-off kind you can get here in American at "traditional" restaurants. Also, don't even get me started on the fresh seafood. I think I ate grilled octopus at least three of the six nights we were there. The food in Portugal and Spain (and I assume all of Europe) is just so much fresher than it is here in America!

4. The architecture is stunning

America is the baby out of all the countries in the world. A lot of the buildings in Europe date back to Middle Ages. It's an absolute wonder how massive stone castles and Cathedrals could be constructed without modern technology. The artwork on the walls is even more fascinating. The intricate chiseled designs are breathtaking. And the fact that these buildings still stand strong - many still being in use today - is amazing to me.

5. You will make some of the best memories in your life

A few of us made a little "quote" if you will to live buy while we were abroad. In Portugal, it was YOPO: You only Portugal once. In Spain, it was YOSO: You only Spain once. We were determined to live to our fullest and try to experience everything we could. This meant we probably ate and drank too much, but that doesn't matter because the memories that came with it were worth it.

I had so much fun studying abroad. Complete strangers became my best friends, and together, we made memories that will last a lifetime. I truly hope that every college student gets the opportunity to study abroad someday because it is one of the best experiences you will have in your life.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Burkholder

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11 Must-Go To Day Trips In North Carolina

For the wanderers and curious...

It's finally summer, classes are out! There are so many things to do in this beautiful state. There are many small towns to visit. These towns are perfect day trips. From the mountains to the beach and everything in between, there is something for everyone! Pack your car up and get ready for a summer of adventure.

1. NoDa

This is a small hipster district right outside of Uptown Charlotte. Music and art paint this town and it has a very creative energy flow. Amelie’s Bakery, a 24/7 french bakery, is located in this district. There is always something fun and new to try in this cute, artistic town!

2. Asheville

This town is known for the beautiful scenery and historic importance. The Biltmore Estate is located here, and it is open for tours every day of the year. It is the biggest estate in America. The downtown area is very artistic, and the mountains make for a gorgeous hike. This is definitely an adventure you don't want to miss.

3. Boone

This small town has a lot of outdoor activities. It is perfect for hiking and whitewater rafting. If you love nature, this is a must see. It is a college town where Appalachian State University is located. The downtown area is very old school and for modern hipsters.

4. Crowders Mountain

This is located in Gaston County. Once you reach the Pinnacle, the peak of the trail, with clear skies you can see for miles. It is a quick four-mile hike for the short one, the view is amazing.

5. Wilmington

This city is known for the beachfront. It makes a perfect day to hit the waves. There are many beach fronts to visit, such as Carolina Beach. Cape Fear Ocean runs through this city. White sand, waves and the boardwalk. If you are a fan of One Tree Hill, it was filmed here.The small restaurants and characteristics give this town a vibrant energy.

6. Serendipity House

This house is from the movie Nights In Rodanthe located on a beach in Avon, North Carolina. It has been remodeled, but the amazing characteristics of this make it a sight to see.

7. Linville Falls

This is located in Linville, North Carolina. Attractions close by are also the Blue Ridge Mountain. To get to the main fall, it is about a mile hike.

8. Outer Banks

Small beaches on the outer banks of North Carolina have wild horses. Corolla Wild Ponies run free, and you can even take a ride on them in the water.

9. Sliding Rock

Located in Brevard, this rock is actually naturally made from a small waterfall. You can actually go sliding down it. It is in Pisgah National Forest also near Asheville.

10. Devil's Tramping Ground

This is located near Bennett. It is a 40-foot circle that cannot grow life. If you leave something or sleep in the circle, the rumor is it will be outside of the circle the next day.

11. Land of Oz Theme park

Located in Beech Mountain, this theme park that was once full of life is now closed and for the most part abandoned. It comes alive for one night a year for an event. This is definitely a place to take a night adventure to...

Cover Image Credit: Tumblr

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6 Reasons Traveling Is Good For Your Mind, Body, And Soul

Wherever you go, go with all your heart.


Have you ever traveled to a new destination and felt your mood instantly improve? Are you like me and feel happiest when you're on vacation? This is because traveling is a way for you to renew your soul and step out of your comfort zone. It keeps you happy and allows you to experience new things.

Visiting new destinations can open your mind to experiences you didn't even know were possible. You can meet new people, fall in love, try new foods, and see remarkable sites all while traveling. There are no limits to the places you can visit, and the things you can see. Currently, I am on a mini weekend trip to Arizona, and being here has opened my eyes and made me realize how impactful traveling really is on your mind, body, and soul. Traveling should be something you do as often as possible and whenever you get the chance. Here's why:

1. Traveling makes your heart happy 

Traveling is something that most people enjoy. It keeps the heart young and childlike. Traveling brings people joy because they get to experience new things that they love with the people they love.

2. It teaches you to embrace every moment 

Traveling can be unpredictable, especially because you are experiencing new things. Although it can be challenging, we learn best from these unpredictable moments. When we travel we learn to embrace every situation that is thrown at us.

3. Traveling relieves stress and improves mental health 

Traveling reduces stress and allows you to relax. More often than not, you take off work when you go on vacation and you focus on renewing your self. You get away from all the crazy things going on in your life, and you can just relax and focus on your own happiness.

4. It broadens your horizons 

Traveling lets you branch out and experience different cultures. You can try new foods, new activities, and meet all different types of people. You learn diversity, and you learn respect for other people and their culture's. Traveling helps you learn other perspectives around the world and lets your mind think in ways it never has before.

5. It keeps you healthy 

Traveling actually plays a big part in your physical health as well. During vacations, you often walk a lot to destinations and participate in calorie burning activities like hiking and swimming. Activities like these are often why you still are able to get your workout in while on vacation.

6. Traveling reminds you what is important 

Most importantly, traveling reminds you of the important things in life. We live day by day forgetting that every moment is remarkable. Sometimes, we get stuck in the same old boring routine and take for granted the life we have been given. Traveling reminds us that memories are valuable and that our lives should be cherished.

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