Why Not Studying Abroad Was The Right Choice For Me
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Why Not Studying Abroad Was The Right Choice For Me

Sitting out on adventure has been an adventure.

Why Not Studying Abroad Was The Right Choice For Me
Avery Werther

We live in a time of globalization. From the internet to airplanes, modern technology has made international communication and travel unprecedentedly easy, and never before have people been so interested in getting to know the world beyond their own borders. As such, studying abroad has almost become an expectation for students who can make it work. If you can afford it—both in terms of money and credits towards your major—it seems like a no-brainer. An enriching experience in another country while you're young and full of adventure... How could you say no?

At Tulane, study abroad is customary during one's junior year. Of my six closest friends here, five chose to study abroad this semester, with destinations all over the globe: Australia, France, Argentina, Scotland, and Hungary. But, despite this and much to my dad's confusion, I decided to stay behind. It's not that I didn't want to travel; it's that I couldn't bare the thought of taking a whole semester away from my time in New Orleans.

It didn't take long after coming to Tulane for me to fall absolutely in love with this city. From the perpetual Mardi Gras beads that decorate the tree branches and power lines of St. Charles Avenue to the ubiquity of Tobasco Sauce to the way people look for any excuse to have a festival, there's just a magical quality about New Orleans that makes it feel like home. It also didn't take long to look up one day and realize that, while I had been trying my best to make the most of these things, I was suddenly halfway done with college. If I spent several months in another country, I knew I would come back to find that I had even less precious time left here.

So, although I would be watching from the sidelines while most of my friends posted incredible pictures on social media, I chose to give myself another incredible semester at Tulane. With that semester now drawing to a close, I don't regret my decision one bit. Having more time on my own has actually allowed me to get to know New Orleans on an even deeper level. I've tried amazing restaurants, from Little Korea BBQ to Tal's Hummus to Willa Jean. I've gone climbing at the New Orleans Boulder Lounge. I've had friends from my hometown visit for festivals and Saints games and comedy shows, and showing them around the city is always my favorite part. It's like sharing a piece of myself, and that's how I know I made the right call.

If the spirit of New Orleans has taught me anything, it's the importance of living in the moment, and my college moment was meant to be lived here. I plan to travel the world, perhaps even do grad school abroad, but right now I'm enjoying soaking up what this one remarkable place has to offer. That way, when the day comes to leave, I'll be able to take the Big Easy with me wherever I go. Just as Chris Rose put it, "You can live in any city... But New Orelans is the only city that lives in you."

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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