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12 Great Reasons to Study Abroad

01/15/2016 11:35 pm ET | Updated Jan 16, 2016

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Insights into the advantages of studying abroad from the College Tourist Spring Team

1. Roslyn Kent - University of Calgary

Studying abroad means that you can learn how to integrate yourself into a new city, environment and even culture. By living somewhere completely different than your home, you're challenging yourself to understand and adopt that culture's values; customs and sometimes language in ways that you might never do while hopping from city to city while traveling as a tourist.

2. Miranda Siwak - Elon University

Studying abroad is a great opportunity to become independent and learn to live on your own. Living on your own, especially in a new city or country, can be daunting. But, living abroad for several months can teach you about finding an apartment and getting the necessities, as well as getting around the city, mastering the transport system and finding things to do on your own. Studying abroad is an important step between your parents' house and college dorm housing to post-grad living and can teach you a lot about yourself that you maybe hadn't discovered until being independent, living on your own.

3. Nikki McKenna - Florida Atlantic University

Studying abroad can be a great way to discover career opportunities as well as networking. Being in another country can allow you to see different types of jobs that are out there and teach you something about your own inclinations that might not have been clear before. It can broaden your views on different career options that exist and having local education can help in finding a job in that country.

4. Hannah Polston - University of Denver

If you're interested in learning a new language, study abroad is the best way to go about it! You'll be constantly surrounded by the language you're learning and for better or worse you will need to use it to communicate with those around you. While this might seem intimidating at first, if you give it your best shot you'll be surprised at how much you can learn- not just about the language's grammar and vocabulary, but also about the people who speak it.

5. Gabrielle Hickmon - Cornell University

Studying abroad can give you awesome perspective on your own college experience. It's probably one of the only ways to make friends that live all around the world. I think the coolest thing about it is seeing how they interpret America, American culture, and similarities and differences between experiences. I'm always astounded at how similar experiences are, even when you grow up in different countries and studying abroad is a great way to learn about the world around you from the perspective of your peers in another country.

6. Sarah Ndjongo - University of California, Berkeley

Studying abroad can allow you to experience a different style of education. If you are studying at a host university, you can compare your host country's higher education system to your own country's. It can be really interesting to outline the differences and similarities, and also see what course work in your major may or may not be offered in the country you're visiting as opposed to the regular course work you have piled up on your plate back home. New course material you learn during your stay abroad can complement your studies greatly, for it truly opens your mind and expands your knowledge as a student. After all, education is the main focus of a study abroad program.

7. Alea Samantha - Curry College

Studying abroad allows you to meet dozens of new people. When studying in America, it's hard to imagine that there are different people in the world that can give you new experiences and introduce you to different passions and push you outside your comfort zone. There are people that will teach you the meaning of friendship, family and love all over the world. By staying in one place, you surround yourself with similar people who you are comfortable with. When exploring the world, new people challenge you and help you learn more about yourself and help push you outside of your comfort zone. While education is the main priority, learning about yourself and who you want to surround yourself with is something everyone learns at some point in their life.

8. Alexandra Perez - University of Iowa

Studying abroad widens your perspective of the world. By integrating yourself into a community and culture different from your own, you gain a better understanding of the world and that can make you a more empathetic and well-rounded person overall.

9. Emily Freebery - Fordham University

Studying abroad allows you to experience life outside of your comfort zone; to experience and try new things, allowing you to grow as an individual and learn more about yourself!

10. Emily Roth - University of Connecticut

Studying abroad can truly steer you towards the path you want to take after college. As cheesy as it sounds, traveling can really help you identify what you like, what you dislike, and what you're good at. You're in a number of different environments in a small amount of time and this can help you compare and contrast to realize where you fit in in the world. Traveling puts you under times of pressure, makes you deal with tricky social situations, and tests your adaptability. All these experiences can help you realize what kind of work environment you will thrive in and what type of work you'll be happiest doing.

11. Molly Green - University of Minnesota -Twin Cities

Study abroad is the first step to seeing the rest of the world. For many students, college is their first opportunity for international travel, and spending any amount of time living in another country is a huge leap outside one's comfort zone. Studying abroad gives students the confidence to navigate a new city, country, and culture on their own, and ignites a fire to see more of the world. Students who have the dreams but not the know-how to travel the world should start by studying abroad.

12. Carine Alexis - St. John's University

Study abroad allows you to see your life in a broader context. By experiencing other cultures, you learn to notice human similarities over differences, and view your own culture with a critical lens

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