Why I Wish I Participated In A Study Abroad Program

Dump your boyfriend, say goodbye to your friends, save your money and pack your bags! Nearly every university and college offers study abroad programs and you should take advantage. I wish I did!

I didn’t take part in an exchange program because I was worried about missing out on a year of university with my new friends. Looking back, I can only think about all the reasons why I should have gone on an international study exchange.

Here are five reasons why I regret not going on a study abroad program:

  1. Finances
  2. This might only appear on your list of reasons as to why you shouldn’t study abroad. In reality, going abroad while you are in school can be one of the most cost effective ways to live in a new country for a long period of time. International student tuition fees can be three or four times the amount you would be paying at your home university. When you participate in an exchange program, you will be paying tuition fees for your university or college while attending an international school.

    Universities and colleges often offer scholarships for students participating in study abroad programs. Do your research and you might be able to finance your tuition or living fees while you are abroad through a scholarship program.

    In addition, you will likely be able to find cost-effective housing arranged by the school before you arrive.

  3. Someone To Hold Your Hand
  4. Before you leave for your international experience and once you arrive at your international destination, you will have people to help organize your trip and let you know what to expect. You will have someone to help you sort out your travel documents, organize your courses and help you find somewhere to live.

    Once you arrive, you will have orientation sessions with school faculty. You’ll probably be able to participate in planned social outings with other international students and meet many new potential friends.

  5. Learn A Language
  6. You’ll have the chance to learn more in one semester than you would in four years of a university language course. Again, learning a new language adds value to your resume that can’t be beat.

  7. Opportunity To Immerse Yourself In The Culture
  8. Not only will you meet people from the country you are studying in, you’ll meet other international students from all over the world. You will get to see the country through the eyes of a local making for a great cultural experience.

  9. An Invaluable Addition To Your Higher Education
  10. Beyond text books, tests and exams, an international education experience adds invaluable experience to your degree or diploma.  Employers recognize international experiences on a resume because they show independence and responsibility.

Taking part in a study abroad program might seem totally terrifying, which is all the more reason to go on an exchange! You’ll gain independence and confidence that will carry you through the rest of your education and career experiences.

Did you participate in a study abroad program? Do you regret not participating in a study abroad program?

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One Comment

  1. Kristy
    Posted June 6, 2011 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

    Couldn’t agree more. When I went into university I planned to go in my third year- and I just never did it. Now i think it is the only way I would enjoy traveling for a long period of time to another country. Should’ve dumped that boyfriend ;)

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