Last week as I was walking around campus, I started seeing posters advertising information sessions about upcoming study abroad opportunities for the summer. Having had the opportunity to take part in a study abroad program last summer to fulfill credit for my communications elective, it brought back amazing memories of my time in Thessaloniki and Athens Greece where I got to spend 3 weeks learning about gender in film.
Studying abroad has easily been one of the best decisions I’ve made in college. Not only did I earn three of the most exciting, diverse, and enlightening college credits towards my degree, I also learned about traveling to and in a foreign country. That’s not something you learn in a textbook or by sitting behind a desk in a classroom. From meeting new people who quickly became some of my new best friends to participating in cultural experiences unlike anything I have ever done in the United States, it was an all-around rewarding and life changing experience that I highly recommend for all college students.
When you study abroad, at first it's all about being in a new country, visiting the sites in the area, trying foods and drinks, getting to know the people at the local establishments and the hotel, learning the currency, and really trying to immerse yourself in the culture and learn about the country you are visiting. But once the weeks start to pass by and the hype has gone down, some thoughts begin to run through your mind…
1. I miss $2 drink specials
2. What exactly am I eating?
3. DOES ANYONE HERE SPEAK ENGLISH?!
4. I really hope this ATM doesn't suck up my card...
5. I miss my bed and AC
6. How do I get back to my hotel if I can't even pronounce the name of it?
7. How will I ever thank my parents enough for sending me on this amazing experience?
As you start to contemplate your schedule for Spring and Summer session, consider studying abroad. I can guarantee it will be the best class you've ever taken and the experiences you encounter will not only enhance your college experience but provide you with memories that last a lifetime.