Study abroad is a quintessential college experience. However, it can be daunting in the beginning. After all, who would choose to part with their best friends for a whole semester? Why would you leave behind the life you've built in your college town for a city that you've never visited? Only those who dare to leave will understand just how valuable studying abroad can be. You'll carry the lessons you learn with you for the rest of your life. There are secrets study abroad students know, but they probably won't share them.
When you go abroad for the first time, you begin to truly understand that the world is your oyster. You no longer feel confined by the expectations of your college town or the place you grew up in. The exposure you receive during study abroad effects you in more ways than you ever imagined. Suddenly, you're forced to interact with people you would have never otherwise met. You're finally able to go places you always dreamed, and this changes you. It takes awhile to realize just how much you learned over a seemingly short period of time. You might return the same, but your views of this wide world is forever changed.
1. You Don't Need A Lot Of Money To Have Fun
You might think every broke college student deals with the same money struggles, but being a study abroad student is a whole different ballgame. You learn to make the most of the money you have, and you also learn you don't need much money to have a pretty spectacular time.
You find a way to budget for weekend trips using hostels and budget airlines, so traveling to different countries while you're abroad is definitely in the cards. You have a blast by simply getting lost wandering down the cobblestone streets, packing up a picnic dinner to eat in your fave scenic spot, and shopping at vintage stores. You quickly learn that some of the most valuable moments in life are usually free.
2. Study Abroad Forces You To Grow Up
Study abroad forces you out of your comfort zone quicker than anything else. You're suddenly required to navigate totally new countries, languages, and people all by yourself. Inevitably, this forces you to grow up rather quickly. You mature faster than you've ever imagined, and you adapt.
You figure out the subway system or best walking route so you can get to school. You also have to learn how to be OK with being away from all of your family and friends for a few months. It's all kind of intimidating at first, but in the end, you discover that you've grown in more ways than you ever realized.
3. Travel Friends Are Forever Friends
It doesn't take study abroad students long to bond over their love for travel. Their desire to see the world is so strong, that it automatically connects them to others who are on the same mission.
You have no issue finding a fellow study abroad student to join you on your weekend adventures across Europe. Everyone's down for the journey, and there's no better feeling. You create many memories together and you'll cherish all of the inside jokes you have together as a result. Your friends back home just won't get it. Early on, you discover that you're forever bonded to the friends you make during study abroad.
4. Study Abroad Sticks With You Forever
They say college is the best four years of your life, but study abroad will probably be the best part of those four years. It will likely be one of the most impactful experiences of your entire life, so you'll feel the effects of it long after you've returned home.
You'll have the blues once it's over, and you'll wish you could do it all over again. You'll find yourself looking at old photos and reminiscing on the good 'ole days abroad. You'll start adjusting to life back in your college town, but you'll never forget the study abroad experience that changed your life.
Study abroad students around the world can relate to each other in more ways than one. If you speak to anyone who's studied abroad, they'll tell you that these secrets are all too true.