Studying abroad should be a requirement.
You know how you have prerequisites for graduating? Well, it should be a prerequisite to study abroad in college.
If you’re in college I have a message for you and I want you to listen closely because this will change your life. It changed mine. Especially for my girls out there! (Sorry boys!)
I don’t mean to single out my boys, but I feel like more girls (especially in college) have trouble taking the leap and studying abroad. There is a greater setback for some women because of the solo aspect, and as a solo female travel blogger, I clearly an advocate for this.
I had the privilege of studying abroad my fall semester my junior year of college. It changed my life and who I am today. I want the same to happen to you! So gather your girlfriends, grab the popcorn and start taking notes.- I mean it, ladies! Nothing bothers more than meeting girls who didn’t study abroad because they were scared, didn’t want to go alone, didn’t want to breakup with their partner, and didn’t see the benefits!
REASON #1: Don’t wait on friends. Fact.
In college, you will make friends and you will loose friends, like in life. It is the way of life. If you’re waiting on friends to make a decision on studying abroad together. DON’T! That’s possibly the biggest mistake you could ever make. Why? Because not everyone will ever be ready. Waiting on others will not do you any favors. So stop waiting. Go alone! You will survive, I promise. You’ll thank yourself for it later. In fact, I encourage you to almost go someplace completely different than the rest of your friends. You’ll have a greater personal experience. Plus, you will make other amazing friends that come from other parts of the US/world that will be with you on this journey. I promise when you return home, your friends will still be your friends.
REASON #2: Experiencing life outside of your comfort zone is a MUST!
Once you study abroad and then return your friends are still your friends and things have not changed. The same friend still cries about the same boyfriend. Everyone still goes to the same pub to get drunk, the same people are still going to the same frat parties, etc. Drama is still the same. But you, you’ve changed. You’ve somehow managed to evolve because you’ve spent x weeks abroad you’ve met other people. You’ve walked strange streets at 4 am drunk with other friends laughing, you’ve learned a new language (if not several), you’ve made friends from different parts of the world, you’ve had classes in museums. You’ve stepped completely outside of what you know and have learned too much about the world and yourself. Remember, ‘experience’ is the greatest gift you could ever receive.
REASON #3: Your love life.
Ladies, ladies, ladies, I feel as though this is a big factor as to why so many of us don’t study abroad in college. This is most certainly this cruelest mistake of all time! Also, it’s probably the biggest mistake won’t actually admit to. So If you’re in a relationship and nervous about leaving your other half because you’re afraid it won’t work. Then I am sorry to say, but you’re probably right it probably won’t and you should, in fact, stop wasting your time. If you already have doubts they will only get worse while you are apart. Do yourself a favor, break up, and go enjoy yourself. There are plenty of fish in the sea. – you’re welcome.
REASON #4: The things you’ll learn. Priceless.
Embarking on such a journey will change your life. This is probably the hardest to explain because you won’t be able to put into words all you’ve gained from this experience until months/ years later. You will not only learn so much about yourself but also about cultures. Chances are that if you study abroad you’ll probably have the opportunity to visit other countries. For example, if you study in Europe you’ll travel to other parts of Europe too. With friends or solo, but you’ll have the opportunity to experience new cultures. Learn first hand about a history and meet people! I believe meeting people from other parts of the world will expand your horizons. You will gain more respect for other cultures and humanity.
REASON #5: For your future career.
This is a big one. There isn’t an interview I didn’t start with where they didn’t ask me about my traveling/ living in Europe when I studied abroad. They asked all sorts of questions, like, how long was I there for? Where did I go? Where did I travel to? What was I there for? etc. Our world has changed and is changing every day it always makes you of an interested candidate if you’ve experienced something outside the norm. This was the perfect conversation starter.
REASON #6: You’ll feel like an outsider- in the best way.
This is the biggest/greatest feeling! After spending 6 months abroad, I returned home and I felt like a complete outsider. Trying to explain to friends and family the countries I had visited, the things I did, and the people I had met, was impossible. No matter how much I explained, it didn’t justify anything. I wasn’t better than anyone else for having the privilege to travel, I just felt like I had learned so much and experienced so much that putting it all into words was too hard. My experiences opened my mind so much more to the world. I didn’t want to talk about the outfit I was going to buy for next Friday’s social event, I wanted to talk about how I was going to make/save money so I could travel Europe after college. Studying abroad was a taste of life and the world. It was almost like a tease. It worked well because only a year later I went back to travel around solo. And 5 years after that I began to travel the world and write about it.
Studying abroad gave me a small taste of the world. I experienced things I wouldn’t have done if I stayed in the same college setting. It was a tease. It worked well because only a year later I went back to travel around solo. And 5 years after that I began to travel the world and write about it.
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