The Importance of Studying Abroad
1. You get to make another town or city your home
If you are like me and you went to a university a short distance from where you grew up, you have really only had one area to call home your entire life. Moving to a new country allows you to truly call a new place home for a short while. Each day is exciting, but you still find yourself frequenting your favorite place to eat and relaxing on the same park bench every Monday afternoon.
2. You meet so many new people
On the opposite side of the world you encounter so many new and different people whom you would not have come across at home. In Budapest, I met a man from Vienna two days before going to Vienna! He told me about all of the best places I needed to go to and things I needed to see. My study abroad friends and I still keep in touch and see each other as often as we can.
3. You get to eat new food
Gelato, pho, tapas, escargot, arepas con queso, bratwursts! Everything tastes better when eaten right where it originated.
4. You can travel
When I studied abroad in London, I not only visited other British towns but also traveled to Ireland, Amsterdam, Rome, Venice, Florence, Edinburgh, and Malta. In a new country or new continent, nearby countries and cities are much more accessible than they may have been from your hometown (especially in Europe).
5. You get to immerse yourself in another country’s culture
Before moving to London, I had maybe drunk between one and three cups of tea my entire life. Currently, I am having a cup as I write this post. Tea tea tea. No afternoon “meal” compares to tea time in the UK for me. The scones, the finger sandwiches, the delicious delights. The best thing a traveler can do when going to another country is immerse oneself completely into the local culture!
6. You can study something new
Many times foreign universities offer classes in subjects unavailable at home or that you do not have time for in your curriculum. Studying abroad provides the opportunity to take courses outside of your major or focus. Imagine studying Ancient Roman Civilization in Rome where the ruins are down the street. I studied Shakespeare in London, which included seeing Henry V (starring Jude Law) and going to see Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in the flesh. It does not get much more authentic than that.
7. You can learn a new language
A true way to show your respect and interest in another country’s culture is to take a language course. Yes, many people all over the world speak English… but where’s the fun in playing it safe? Learning a new language is enriching and gratifying.
8. You can discover new interests
You may be terrified of heights, but somehow your new adventurous friends from the other side of the world take you bungee-jumping, turning you into an adrenaline junkie. Being on a different continent, on a different terrain, or in a different ecosystem can open up doors for new activities and interests you did not have access to try at home.
9. You can find yourself
There is something about traveling to a new place that just let’s your true self emerge from within. Distance from home, family, and friends brings you to a very positive solitary state in which your only focus is yourself, your life, and how you most want to spend your time.
10. Life Experience
World travel provides important life experience usable in every day life as well as in the workplace. Traveling can teach you patience, tolerance, respect, independence, quick thinking, and resourcefulness. Studying, working, or living abroad shows you can thrive in a foreign environment.
Tara loves all things London and wants to spend the rest of her life reading books in beautiful places. She can often be found nestled up in a bookshop, drinking a pint at the pub, or searching for the best pizza slice in town.
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Read to Travel
Tara wants to spend the rest of her life reading books in beautiful places and finding every city's best pizza. She moved from the US to New Zealand in January 2016.