So studying abroad seems exciting, right?
The thing is, like with everything else, it's going to have things that make it not so fun. Under all that excitement and curiosity, it's important to take a realistic approach into things. It's always important to choose a place you want to visit that you feel you seem most excited about. The hard part is always choosing one place to go to, but if you want to go abroad again, why not?
1. Pro: New crowd and culture
When you go someplace out of the U.S., it's likely other countries aren't going to do everything like we do. They'll have different food with different tastes and different ways of showing politeness or being open. Hopefully, you'll at least know an intermediate level of the language of that place, but if not, that can be part of the adventure too. I'm sure people would have fun seeing someone flounder with trying to speak their language.
2. Pro: New scenery
Look, we've all, at least once, looked around and realized how long we've been at a single spot and felt that curious itch to just go; To just see some new sights, new people, just experience new things. Sometimes we feel a shoot of wanderlust up our spines, an itch under our fingertips for an adventure, the need to inhale the air and look up at new buildings to admire the beauty all around us.
3. Pro: Best part, it looks GREAT on your resume
NOW, WE ALL KNOW WE NEED MONEY. We are college students. We are hungry for cash and some of that stability cash. Unless you're rich, you want to make sure you get some dough to get the goods home. If you intern abroad or even just study abroad, that definitely makes you stand out. The managers will look at your resume with starry eyes and you're going to stay in their mind, while you pretend you weren't spending one of those nights drunk from French wine and skinny dipping at the beach.
1. Con: Homesickness
Under all that excitement, at some point, you're going to process that you're far, far away from your friends and family and you're on your own in a whole new environment. You're probably going to miss your bed and remember all those little things you did at home that you can't really do in this new place. Yeah, you'll also be scared, but to adventure and learn new things also means you need to risk being on your own (unless a friend comes) and making connections along the way.
Make sure to bring some things that remind you of home with you to help ease your homesickness: a pillow, a stuffed animal, etc.
2. Con: Falling behind
Oh, boy. New place, new timezone, all that excitement can catch up and before you know it, you're probably a little more than behind on work that was due, say, a... week... ago...?
3. Con: Leaving the end of the semester
You're going to lock that door and they'll have to unlatch your cold, dead hands from that door frame. It's going to suck; sitting in that plane, looking down at all the memories being left behind, moments of your life for three months settled aside to come back to the U.S, to come back to the mundane life you lived before. Everything will feel like a dream when you wake up the next day, look out the window, and feel as though you'd never left.
But at the end of the day, you're going to learn new memories, new things about yourself, what you like and dislike, and you're going to meet new people in your life. It will be ok, either way.
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- 11 Signs You've Become That Annoying Friend Who Studied Abroad ›
- Open Letter To People Who Are Homesick While Studying Abroad ›