As most of you know, I recently went on my first study abroad trip to the Motherland, Uganda. Studying abroad is truly a once in a lifetime experience that I think every college student should experience.
The fall semester is approaching the midway point for most of us, so I am encouraging you to think about what you want to do in the spring and summer semesters. I highly suggest considering doing a study abroad. Trust me; you won’t regret it. Two weeks ago, I attended the study abroad fair at my school, where I volunteered at the Uganda study abroad table. It felt so good talking about my experience and encouraging other students to do a study abroad. The study abroad fair was like deja vu because it brought me back to the fall 2018 semester when I attended this same fair and applied to quite a few programs. I got into all, but I chose to visit the Motherland, and it was one of the best decisions I’ve made in my life.
In this post, I’m sharing some of the reasons to study abroad. Now, I’m not an expert in study abroad; however, I like to call myself a professional student. After all, I’ve been going to school since I was two (haha). I’ve done a study abroad before and had a life-changing experience and have seen how it benefits my peers both personally and professionally.
Here are some reasons you should study abroad.
You get to travel the world!
The first thought that came to mind was, I get to travel the world, and I get to travel somewhere I probably wouldn’t haven’t gone on my own. The reason for studying abroad is to travel abroad. You will grow as an individual. When you study abroad, you get to travel the world and be productive at the same time! My experience in Uganda has been one of the most enlightening, humbling, and eye-opening experiences of my life. Also, while doing this, you will learn to travel. For some people, a study abroad is the first time they will be getting on a plane or even leave the country in which they live.
Make new friends and connections
When you travel abroad, you can go with a group like I did or you can go individually. Either way, this is an opportunity for you to make friends as well as career contacts, which will be essential for advancing your career. Remember, networking is vital! I have made new friends with the group I traveled with, we created a bond that’s now unbreakable. I was able to make connections with other members of different organizations in Uganda, established a connection with someone who works in the US embassy in Uganda. Again, networking and building relationships are key!
Broaden your knowledge
While on my trip, I learned a lot about the culture, met incredible people, traveled to places that are rich in history, and visited tourist attractions. Although this sounds all fun, you will be taking classes, attending seminars geared towards the program, as well as learn a new language or learn the local language. I strongly recommend that you take the opportunity to study abroad regardless of what your major is, I can guarantee that there is a study abroad for you.
I gained 5 pounds while on my trip that I’m thankful for cause Lord knows I’ve been trying for a while to gain some weight. Let me put this disclaimer out there; I am in no way saying you will gain weight, but you will be eating GOOD! Traveling will allow you to try some authentic and fantastic cuisine.
Gain college credits
While studying abroad, you will be earning college credits, which will get you closer to graduation. And of course, it will be on your transcript, which will make a great impression and make you a strong candidate to graduate school committees and even future employers. Having an international experience will be a plus; this will surely be an ice breaker during graduate school or job interviews, it will make for great conversation.
So in conclusion, studying abroad is worth it! The experience will be life-changing, and you’ll look at life differently, get the opportunity to boost your career, and who can forget the food and other tourist attractions. I think I got bitten, most likely infected by the traveling bug. I’m not only prepared for my next study abroad, but I’m ready to travel the world!
Have you studied abroad? If so, what was the most memorable thing from your time abroad? And if you haven’t, do you plan on doing one, where and why?