What You Learn While Studying Abroad That Your Home University Won't Teach You

by Ciara Johnson

Studying abroad should be at the top of your college bucket list. After all, there's only so much you can learn in a classroom setting. Nothing beats learning about a different culture than jetting off to a different country and experiencing it for yourself. You can read about a monument all you want, but it will resonate so much more when you finally see it up close. Studying abroad will give you the opportunity to interact with a variety of cultures in an incredible way. There are certain things you learn studying abroad when you leave your college city or town for a bit.

My study abroad experience was the highlight of my entire college career. I quickly realized that learning in a classroom environment could never compare to hands-on experience in the real world. I gained a new perspective on myself, others, and this beautiful world around me. I had a unique opportunity to interact with people I would have never otherwise met, and for that, I am forever grateful. I also realized that the world isn't as big and intimidating as it seems. If there's one piece of advice I'd give to an incoming freshman, it would be to make studying abroad a priority.

That Education Never Ends
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It's easy to get stuck in a college routine. You go to class, go to meetings, hang out with your friends, study, and then do it all over again the next day.

Study abroad will force you to step outside of your comfort zone and meet people who live completely different lives than you do back in your college town. You'll continue to feed your wanderlust once you graduate, because you understand that there's so much more to discover outside of the classroom. You're now eager to continue learning about the world and the people in it, even after college ends.

How To Be Independent AF
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Leaving your hometown for college can be such a bittersweet time, but heading to a new country is a completely different story. You might be sad when it comes time to say goodbye to your family and friends, but it won't be long before you're able to establish independence abroad. You'll have moments where you get homesick, but you'll often be surprised to discover just how capable you are of taking care of yourself. In the end, you'll realize just how much you've grown.

How To Truly Be Adventurous

Studying abroad will welcome adventure in your life. The act of going overseas is an adventure in itself, but there's something about travel that tends to make us more spontaneous.

You'll have plenty of opportunities to get involved and meet new people. You'll find yourself saying yes to excursions and plans you may have passed up back home to study. After all, why wouldn't you take advantage of being halfway across the world? Why not take a weekend road trip or hop on a train to Florence for the weekend? You'll learn to enjoy every single moment.

The World Is Your Oyster
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Going abroad will naturally expand your horizons. You'll begin to embrace the fact that you aren't confined to the area you grew up in or the town you go to school in. You'll consider working abroad or living in a different country when you graduate. You'll have a global mindset that will have a major impact on all of your future decisions.

There's No Place Like Home
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Distance truly make the heart grows fonder. It's normal to take your friends for granted when you see them every single day. It's easy to grow bored of your college town after being there every day. After awhile, you'll begin to crave the late-night food stops you'd make. You'll begin to miss the friends who have been there with you through the ups and downs. Leaving home will help you appreciate the things and people in your daily life.

Studying abroad will teach you lessons you'll truly take to heart, and you'll just have to experience them for yourself in order to fully understand.