Why All College Students Should Study Abroad

Story by Nicole Haberek, Staff Writer

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The travel abroad opportunities that schools offer should be taken advantage of by all students. Most people seek to travel new places in their lives, and starting it young could benefit people greatly. Studying abroad has become a phenomenon that many students partake in, but it still has a lot of growing to do. Studying abroad has benefits and experiences that you would not be able to get by staying in the United States to get an education.

A lot of jobs are now international, and according to the New York Times,  Americans are lacking international experience. They don’t have language capabilities and cross-cultural communication. These skills are needed for the global economy and for competition for jobs, which most students will face. People can gain a different understanding of different modes of business and leadership that they may not experience in their native country.

Lindsay Barber, a graduate of the Williams School and Trinity College, studied abroad in Barcelona for four months during her junior year of college. She recommends that students should study abroad because “It forces you out of your comfort zone and away from your typical way of living.”  Students need to get out of their comfort zone.y experiencing new cultures, languages, environments and education systems. Everyone needs to be taught about the diversity of other cultures and studying in a foreign place is a great way to do it.

Barber says, “Immersing yourself in a new place with people you don’t know allows for a great deal of independence that you don’t know you have.”  Studying abroad encourages students to be far more independent, self-reliant, and self-confident. These are all skills needed for young adults to go ahead in the world after they graduate. Submerging oneself in other cultures helps students become open-minded.

Barber was studying international business and went to Barcelona to work on her Spanish skills. Studying abroad can give students the experience of learning a new language or becoming more fluent in one they are already studying. Barber was in a university in Barcelona, in class with native Spanish speakers and stayed with a host family, which is something she recommends for everyone. She says, “Staying with a host family made my Spanish go through the roof. They know little to no English so all your conversations are in Spanish, forcing you to push yourself, which I really liked.”

Not only does studying abroad allow students to study in one country in particular, but students can also visit so many different places. Many students stay in their country during the week, but on the weekends travel to other countries due to the easy and cheap modes of traveling in other places. Seeing many different countries that all have different cultures lets students see a lot of diversity. Students can see how other people in the world live their daily lives and it is important for people to see this so people can appreciate others differences.

Studying abroad may seem scary, or expensive, but with all the programs out there, there is a way to afford the experience and also make students feel as comfortable as possible. This is a once in a lifetime experience for young adults to be able to visit a place that they may have always wanted to go while also getting their education.

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