Many colleges offer study abroad programs all around the world. With the help of North Carolina State University, I decided to spend my summer studying in Florence, Italy. Now that my time abroad has ended, I can confidently say that this has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. Everyone should participate in a study abroad program and to convince you, I have compiled a list of all the reasons why.
1—You get to immerse yourself in the culture of the region. While residing in another country, you are forced to live differently than you do at home. Every place has its own quirks that may differ greatly from your hometown but they are what makes that place so unique. This includes learning the language, eating the food, and adapting to the daily routines.
2—It expands your cultural understanding of others. By living in a community of people unlike yourself, you have the opportunity to develop compassion and appreciation for the differences in people. It can take some time to adjust to the changes but it’s worth it. In today’s society, it is extremely important to be open to diversity.
3—You know more about the history of the city than a tour guide. I was required to take an Italian Renaissance class and I cannot express how valuable it was. Since Florence is considered the most important city of the Renaissance, I was able to describe the historical and cultural significance of half the city. Take a class in whichever city you choose to study in. You will gain a greater appreciation for it.
4—It is feasible. Oftentimes, a student’s biggest concern is the cost of a program. With all the various charges, a study abroad experience does not always seem achievable. While I will not deny that it can become expensive, it is easy to get support from your school. Many universities will offer scholarships specifically set aside for study abroad because they know how important it is for all students to go global!
5—You are provided with unimaginable resources. Traveling abroad can be an overwhelming experience, especially if it is your first time. However, when studying abroad through your university, you aren’t alone. Your school will provide amazing support before, during, and after your stay.
6—Exploring other places is an easy option. Depending on where you are studying, travel to other regions can be extremely easy. I found that the infrastructure in Europe made it simple to go away for a weekend and explore a new city. By taking trains all around Italy, I had the privilege of experiencing Venice, Rome, Sorrento, Pisa, and much more!
7—Make amazing friends through shared experience. Nothing brings people together more than shared experience! Throughout my time in Italy, I was able to grow with the other people in my program and build unbreakable bonds. The friendships I made abroad will last a lifetime.
Share your experience studying abroad in the comments below!