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Last summer, I had the amazing opportunity to study abroad in South Africa before my freshman year at MSU started. I was only there for two weeks, and within that short period of time, I learned more about the world and culture than I had my entire life. If you ever have the chance to study abroad, do it, because it is the best experience you will have in college.
1. It makes you never want to come home. Don't get me wrong, I love my friends and family from my home town, but studying abroad made me realize how boring my little suburban town is and how much there is to do out in the world.
2. When you do come home, your friends and family get tired of you talking about your experience 24/7. It's not your fault though, you can't help yourself. Your trip is always on your mind, and you miss it every single day. You'd give anything for a chance to go back.
3. It's been a year, and you still have all the timezone clocks and local weather on your phone. Even though you're not there, you like to keep up with everything and compare your sucky weather to the beautiful weather your country is having.
4. Whenever you travel somewhere new, you always try to make a connection between the new place and the place you studied in. Whether it be the buildings, food, or people, you always say "Hey! That kind of reminds me of when I was in...." and then you go into a story your family has probably heard a million times already.
5. Lectures and classes at your regular university become x100 more boring than they were before you left. They don't even compare to the types of classes you took abroad where you got to experience the things you were learning.
6. You have a whole new perspective of the world, and realize how truly big, diverse, and amazing it is. Culture shock, though hard to cope with, is one of the best type of things you can experience because it breaks you out of your shell and forces you to try and experience new things.
7. You've caught the travel bug, and now all you want to do is spend all your time and money traveling everywhere. Sometimes I wish I could just drop out of school and travel the world. But for now, I'm stuck dreaming during my two and a half hour ISS lectures.
8. When you came home, you downloaded a ton of music in your country's local language, even if you probably won't listen to it. It still gives you some sort of feeling, maybe because that's what you listened to in all the restaurants you ate in, or what you heard when you went out at night, either way, the music is a flood of happy memories.
9. Going out in your college town doesn't compare to going out in a foreign country, and you can't help but compare the two. The boys are more beautiful, the drinks taste better, the dancing is more fun, maybe it's just because we're not in America, but there's just another type of vibe when going out while studying abroad.
10. Studying abroad was one of, or was the, best experience of your life. All you want to do is go back to your second "home" and re-experience everything, but you know that there is so many more things to visit and do in the world.
This article originally appeared on http://theodysseyonline.com/msu/10-ways-studying-abroad-ruins-life/84439, the ultimate source for millennial content written for students, by students. The content captures real conversations in local communities across the country. Breana Brill is a contributing writer for The Odyssey and a first year student at Michigan State University.