What do you think of when you see planes soaring through the sky? I think of one of the best things that has ever happened to me was my study abroad adventure. Through studying abroad I achieved the opportunity for international experience, traveling, to grow as a person and to live out my dreams. Overall, my study abroad experience changed my life and those five reasons are why I believe studying abroad is what every college or graduate student should experience. Will you be soaring through the sky soon?

International Experience

Having international experience distinguishes from your colleagues. That experience makes you more marketable for internships, graduate schools, and future careers. Employers love employees who are well-rounded, problem solvers and have cross-cultural communication skills. Those are all qualities that you could possibly gain while studying abroad.When I studied at Dublin Business School I interacted mostly in group project settings with French and German students. This was a great experience for interaction because I had the chance to learn from and communicate with someone different from my classmates at my home university. I was also an intern Plato Dublin. This was a great experience to work in an international setting. I was able to strengthen my problems solving skills and digital marketing skills, which is what I study. Experiences such as above, are great dividers between you and your colleagues, but most importantly you improve your skills for your future.

Dublin, Ireland – Port

Travel Opportunities

Travel in Europe is relatively feasible. I would recommend using Ryanair Flights. My flight from Dublin to Paris cost me less than 30 Euros! Traveling is something that you would have the opportunity to do as a study abroad student.Do you have any dream destinations? Amsterdam? Rome? Athens? That is your opportunity! I will say that travel opens you up to the world even more, and with more exposure, comes more knowledge, and the urge for more traveling! I currently now have that urge, which comes along with a long bucket list.

Paris, France

London, England (View from The Eye)

You grow as a person

When you study abroad you grow. For me, I became more independent, but you have to. As a student, you are thousands of miles from home. You have to make quick decisions, without the convenience of just calling mom or dad. You have to be more responsible. Keeping up with important documents and personal items is essential when you are abroad. I became a more confident person. I had to navigate myself around a new city, and as I look back on it, it was beautiful. I hope this confidence can take me through the rest of my life through future excursions and career paths.

Dublin, Ireland – O’Connell Street

You only live once

Why not study abroad? What do you really have to lose? In my case finances was a concern, but through family support and a scholarship, I was able to make my dream come true. You will never have a moment in your life again to study in another country. But it's not only studying, it's exploring, it's traveling, meeting people from all over the world, navigating a new culture, it's everything amazing in life! Imagine treating yourself to a brunch deal in the heart of Dublin right after class, ordering steak, chips, wine all for 10 Euros. That right there is half of the dream. Or viewing the beauty of the Eiffel Tower at night. It's your life, you can do it, do it right you only have one life to live.

Dublin, Ireland –Temple Bar

It changes your life

Though that may sound as a cliché referral, as you may have heard from others, but in my case it really did. My entire outlook on life, goals and values have changed. I now have the goal of wanting to become more knowledgeable about the world, specifically human rights issues and educational systems in countries all over the world. I now value so many things more coming back to America, because things are so much different than in Europe. They are not necessarily better, just different. I believe that is essential for many people to understand, just because something is different than what you are used to, doesn’t mean it s bad or less of a system or outlook, it is just different. Not everyone’s’ life changes. Many go back to the same thinking or outlook. I believe it is up to you. It's up to you to open up to an entirely new world and perspective, only then can things begin to change for you. I am really glad I studied abroad because I love the new thinking and perspective I have as a person.

Northern Ireland - Giants Causeway

Whenever I look up at the soaring planes in the sky I smile. I also have a ton of questions. Where is the plane going? Are the people going on that plane going to change their life? I think of how great it would be if there was a study abroad student because that student would have the opportunity to gain international experience, travel to the beauties of the world, grow as a person, achieve a once and a lifetime dream, and hopefully even change their life. Studying abroad does just that.