Going abroad, whether it be to Europe, South Africa, Australia, or anywhere really, is something that every person should do in their lifetime.
I say even more so as a college student.
If you haven't been keeping up with my articles, I'm a Fashion Merchandising major at Washington State University. I'm about to go into my junior year of college and am currently studying abroad in Florence, Italy. I chose to study here because Florence is the center of many artisanal products, such as leather, and has a huge market for fashion.
Even though I chose to study here, and many of my friends have studied here or in other places in Europe, the right place to study for you really depends on your personality, major, and what you want to get out of the experience. To find the right match and program for you, your school's guidance counselor or academic advisor should be the best resources. However, no matter where you go, there are always a few good reasons when convincing yourself or your parents to let you go.
1. The food
If you're a foodie like me, then you're going to have to research wherever you go to make sure you'll like the food. I didn't have to do much research coming to Italy, because I already knew I loved pasta, pizza, and wine -- it was a no-brainer. Although you may not want to give this reasoning to your parents, it's also really fun to (legally) be able to drink if you're not 21 in the States yet.
2. The views
Ya, Arizona may have good sunsets, but watching it over the Ponte Vecchio bridge or an ocean? Indescribable. If you go to Europe, everything is usually within a train ride or a bus ride away. So far, I've traveled to Cinque Terre, Capri, Positano, Castiglioncello, Sorrento, Cortana, and other local places as well. Each city is amazing in its own way, and some of my friends have even gotten to travel to Croatia or Switzerland! Or maybe if you go somewhere like Australia where you're stuck in one country and one country only, you have the weekends to travel around and see things you've never seen before.
3. The art
Being in Italy, there are so many museums and art exhibits, that even though I'm here for six weeks, I can't possibly get to them all! My favorite art, however, is not in any museums. it's the street art you walk by every day and don't even notice. I'm an art geek, though, so I do tend to notice! I've even created an album of just street art that I've seen in Florence as well as places that I've traveled too. If you're going anywhere in Europe, I highly encourage you to find out what museums are in your area, and keep a look out for street art.
4. The people
Many people I know traveled to countries and studied abroad with friends. I decided not to do that. Although I totally encourage going with friends that you can make life-long memories with, I also encourage you to branch out and grow by yourself! My program places us in apartments with roommates, so I knew I wouldn't be completely alone, but I wanted to go by myself to meet new people and try new things. So far, I've met people from Alabama, Arkansas, North Carolina, Kentucky, Missouri, Texas, California, and many more places too! Not all people feel like they can go out and do it alone. I'm naturally an extrovert so I love doing things like this, but even if you're not, studying abroad is a time to get out of your comfort zone and find yourself.
So, if you're on the edge about going abroad, GO, GO, GO! Not only will it make your resume grow, but it will make you grow too.