Is Studying Abroad For You?

Many college students weigh the option of studying abroad at some point during their time at school.  They may even go as far as going to a meeting or a study abroad fair.  I was one of these students dead set on studying abroad at some point during college.  I wanted to venture outside of the United States- venture outside of my comfort zone to find myself and gain confidence.

Now, I am starting my last semester at Central Michigan University, taking one extra semester than the expected four years, and I have yet to study abroad.  In all honesty, the chances of it happening now are very slim.

I was lucky enough to still get the chance to travel to Europe to visit a friend who was studying abroad but it is not the same.

So why care about my story of not studying abroad?  I am telling you because not doing it is probably my biggest regret from my time in college. Without further ado, here are my pros and cons for studying abroad during college so hopefully you can make a decision that you won’t regret.

Pros:

Experience

The experiences you will have while studying in another country are unlike any you will get at a university in the United States.  Recruiters and hiring managers understand that students that study abroad have gained confidence and had experiences interacting with foreigners, which adds to their appeal during the job search.  Being able to live in another country is a very admirable trait and shows that you have some guts because it really is not for everyone.

Independence

Traveling to another country, alone, really requires you to step up and be independent.  Family is no longer a few miles away or even just a phone call away since there are time differences and international phone calls are expensive.   There are many differences between countries that you will most likely have to figure out on your own.

Fun

While studying abroad looks good on a resume and helps build character, it is also just a good time.  I have yet to talk to someone who has studied abroad to find that they had a bad experience.  Being immersed in another culture makes learning fun as well.

Cons:

Expensive

Yes, it is extremely expensive to study abroad.  While there are tuition exchange programs, it is pretty much a given that things will add up quickly as you travel on weekends and participate in tourism activities.

As I rack my brain, I literally can’t think of another con to studying abroad.  While I understand that kind of thing is not necessarily for everyone, if you are considering it, I hope my story was helpful.  The price is what ultimately was the decision maker for me during my quest to study abroad.  If I can give advice to someone who is debating it’s to just do it.  I promise you that it will be worth your time and money in more ways than one.

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Laura Szatkowski

Laura Szatkowski

Laura Szatkowski is a senior at Central Michigan University studying public relations and English. Laura enjoys being busy, juggling work and school, and has plans to one day spend her time traveling abroad. When not busy, Laura, the middle child of three girls, enjoys shopping and spending time with her friends and family.
Laura Szatkowski

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