Rants/ Raves

Students are often looking for opportunities to expand their studies. There are many ways to do this but it is said that one of the best ways is by taking your studies to a different country. Studying abroad can be seen as dangerous or a waste of time; however this is no longer the case. As stated multiple times in the article “The Benefits of Studying Abroad”, it is said to be an opportunity of a lifetime.

A wide range of students have reported many different benefits from studying abroad a couple of the larger impacts on these students lives include:  personal growth, intercultural development, and education and career attainment. “Overall, I learned a lot more about myself in that one semester than I did in the three and a half years in my home school because of the unique space in which I learned, experienced, and spent exploring another culture,” says Carolyn Valtos (IES Adelaide, 1992). The author states many students have reported these types of results from studying abroad programs. Students reported increased maturity as well as increased self-confidence. These two things are extremely important in young adults’ lives as they finish schooling and enter the job market in hopes of potentially perusing a career in their major. Other student reported that studying abroad has increased their ability to maintain and form better relationships. There have been reports of students who feel their relationships with the individuals they traveled with are now stronger than their relationships at home back in the US.  “I think the shared experience of living fully immersed in another culture made these friendships particularly poignant and enduring” explains Alexa Sand (IES Milan, 1989). Multiple students have also reported that studying abroad and living with host families has opened their eyes to a whole new world, and tested habits they were unaware we so natural to them, as well as having a different outlook on the issues in the world around us. “My time there fundamentally changed how I view the world and has given me the ability to view the world, and its issues, from several perspectives” says Jason Thornberg (IES Vienna, 1994). When students were questioned about how studying abroad may have impacted their academic path most respondents agree that it has greatly influenced their decisions to either continue perusing their current major or it has shaped their decision to change their major. “When questioned about academic pursuits, 87 percent of respondents said that study abroad influenced subsequent educational experiences, 63 percent said that it influenced their decision to expand or change academic majors, and 64 percent reported that it influenced their decision to attend graduate school” (Mary M. Dwyer). Lastly multiple students reported that they would do it ten more times if they had the opportunity. When one of the students who previously studied abroad, Michael Preziosi, was asked he said that himself and his wife are planning to make it a requirement for their children when they go off to college, because of the incredible experience they shared during their time studying abroad.

Although I have never personally studied abroad I do personally believe that it is an incredible opportunity to take part in. I would love to study abroad at some point if I was given the opportunity. I have only heard great things about studying abroad and I would love to be able to participate and gain the incredible amount of personal growth I have heard about and seen in my friends who have studied abroad.






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