The Value of Studying Abroad: Expand your horizons and travel

If you’ve had or have Mr. Tollison as a teacher at Morton Ranch High School, you’ve probably heard him yelling at least once about how everyone should study abroad in college. 

Approximately 10 percent of students study abroad at some point during their collegiate career, according to the Institute of International Education. This number is constantly growing, considering it increased 2 percent in recent years alone.

Many believe it’s too expensive or overlook the facts about how important it is. But in reality, studying abroad can be an important college experience and a once in a lifetime opportunity.

The main reason being that you get to travel and see the world. If you decide to study abroad, go to a country you’ve never been to, explore the historical sites, natural wonders, museums and so much more that you would not typically see back home. Make the entire trip an adventure to remember. 

Personally, when I travel to another country, the one thing I enjoy doing most is experiencing a new culture. Studying abroad will introduce you to incredible new foods, customs, traditions and social atmospheres. You will acquire a better understanding and appreciation for the nation’s people and history being surrounded by their culture and traditions.

Studying abroad isn’t a week-long thing, depending on how long you decide to stay. It could last from three months to a year. 

No matter how long you stay, you build new friendships and relationships. And those friendships could last forever, giving you a never-ending list of couches to crash on when you travel down the road.

You also gain a new level of independence by studying abroad. It’s one thing going away for college, but it’s a whole nother level staying in another country by yourself for six months. 

You get to experience what it’s like to rely on yourself, to wash your clothes, cook your own food and not be able to talk to your parents on the phone constantly because of the time difference. Independence is a feeling and a trait that everyone should gain, and studying abroad would help you fully gain it or strengthen it. 

Jobs and graduate schools are also more impressed when they see that you have studied abroad. Students that study abroad display diversity and uniqueness, and it shows that they aren’t afraid to seek out new challenges or put themselves in difficult situations. Jobs and schools you apply to after college see that you are not afraid of stepping out of your comfort zone, and it ups your chances of getting accepted. 

Studying abroad is an opportunity that every student should try to experience. There are resources to help, like scholarships and grants, to help with the financial burden. But it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity that might be worth the investment. Everyone who has studied abroad, including many of our teachers, would agree that those were one of the best times in their life. If you’re given the chance to study abroad do it, you won’t regret it.