Studying abroad is an opportunity that many college students hope and dream to experience. A chance to go off on your own, and to actually live in a country you have never been before is an amazing opportunity.
At Furman, we have a couple of options on how to study abroad. One option is to study away for a semester. Personally, I am not too interested in studying abroad for a whole semester. I feel like I would be homesick for way too long, and would definitely not want to miss out on holidays like Thanksgiving.
However, another option Furman has is to study abroad for the month of May. This is something that I was immediately interested in, and now I am going to New Zealand this May! Here are some reasons why you should go abroad.
1. To travel
Obviously, the most important reason is to travel. Especially if studying abroad in Europe, you do not have to limit yourself. I have a friend who will be studying abroad in Italy in the fall. She has already planned to go and visit London for a weekend and to also go to Paris. The options are endless, and if you have never traveled that far from home, like me, definitely make it worth your while.
2. Experience a different culture
Before college, I lived in the same house for 18 years. I have never moved, not once. So naturally, I am very accustomed to the culture that surrounds the beautiful Tampa, Florida. When I spend three weeks in New Zealand this spring (their fall), I am definitely going to have a culture shock. Having the chance to immerse yourself in a different culture and way of life is a positive aspect of studying abroad. It truly is something you would never get to witness again.
3. Resume builder
Studying abroad is a huge conversation starter. It is immediately the answer if a potential employer ever asks you, “So, what’s something interesting about you?” You can casually say, “I had the chance to study abroad in New Zealand and I jumped off the tallest building in the Southern Hemisphere.” (Yes, this is a thing. No, I will not be doing it.) That is an experience so unique, that your personality is brought into the room in an instant.
4. Make new friends
So maybe you know the people on your trip because you’re in the same major and have a few classes together. If you study abroad, you will make closer bonds with your peers and have memories you will never forget.
Whether it be for a semester, or for a month, I highly recommend branching out and traveling. It honestly is something that may never happen again once you graduate college and have to start looking for a job. I have never heard of someone who has not loved their trip, and would do anything to do it all over again. Look at your options, and maybe you too will have the trip of a lifetime.