Pack your bags for a semester overseas
Studying abroad is one of the best college experiences you can have during your four-year education. Whether you participate in an internship in Los Angeles, California, or take fashion courses at a design school in Paris, France, there are few other ways to immerse yourself in a starkly different culture while earning college credits. If your school offers semester abroad options, you should take full advantage of the program.
Still unsure about leaving on a jet plane? Here are the top five reasons to pack your bags and learn from your culturally rich surroundings.
1. An excuse to travel: Wait, you've never been to Europe? If you pick an international program in France, Spain, Germany, the United Kingdom or another European nation, you'll have the rare opportunity to not only see some of the world's greatest monuments and landscapes, but fully immerse yourself in a place you probably would have never visited if not for school. Most study abroad programs have field trips and class outings centered around your major as well, so you can feel comfortable exploring uncharted territories.
2. Rosetta Stone without the box set: Even if you're studying biology in the middle of Tokyo, Japan, there's no better or faster way to learn a language than living in a place where English isn't the native tongue. By forcing yourself to learn colloquialisms, sentence structure and basic vocabulary, you'll come home after a few months overseas with a suitcase full of souvenirs and a title as bilingual.
3. Making new friends: Being thrown head-first into an unknown country is difficult for anyone, and when you travel abroad with a group of students, you are guaranteed to make new friends. If you're the outdoorsy type, schedule hiking and road trips with your BFFs. You could also gather up a troupe to go to music festivals, museums and various sightseeing trips.
4. Forgiving exchange rates: European nations aside, studying abroad could potentially be kind on your wallet. In many Asian countries, you could get a manicure, pedicure, rejuvenating massage and haircut for less than $10. If food is on your agenda, street vendors in Thailand and Beijing offer cheap and bizarre eats so you can educate your senses with culinary oddities.
5. New life experiences: After an international semester, you'll come home with a newfound sense of independence and fervor for more adventurous experiences - once you travel abroad, you won't want to stop.