Seeing The World Through Study Abroad

Wanderlust.

wan·der·lust

/?wänd?r?l?st/

Noun

A strong desire to travel: “a man consumed by wanderlust”.

I have become a woman consumed by wanderlust. My desire to travel was sparked after the opportunity to spend 20 days between Greece, Italy and France my sophomore year of high school.

I soaked in as much as I could, but was left wanting more. I knew I would need to satiate my wanderlust soon.

Then I got to college and realized that there is a whole department dedicated to helping you fulfill your wanderlust; the studies abroad office.

For me it was simple on location, as a French major I knew I wanted to go to France, but don’t fret if you have no idea where you want to go.

Most schools offer university studies abroad locations. This means that your school will have satellite campuses set up in different countries and you simply pick which places sounds best to you and works with your degree and pack your bags!

Your school’s studies abroad office can help you to figure out which program will be best for you, so don’t be afraid to stop by and ask some questions. They are there as a resource to you!

Let’s say you check out your universities sister campuses though and you don’t like any of them. Are you stuck? No way!

There are countless institutions created simply for studying abroad. This is actually how I did my study abroad. My school didn’t offer any programs in France, but they do partner with IES, an outside organization aimed to help kids study in foreign countries.

Essentially the only difference (or at least for me) was an extra step or two. Instead of just being approved by my school, I also had to be approved by IES. And I had to pay tuition to IES instead of my school. Not too much of a hassle to get to live in a foreign country.

There are many programs to research and it all may seem overwhelming. According to The Huffington Post the top 10 study abroad programs are;

  • Emerson College: Kasteel Well: The Netherlands
  • IES Abroad: Barcelona
  • Direct Enrollment: Florence- Scuola Lorenzo d’ Medici
  • IFSA Butler: Galway- National University Ireland
  • AIFS: Sydney- Macquarie University
  • Ithaca College: London- Ithaca College London Center
  • API: Florence- Lorenzo d’ Medici The Italian International Institute
  • University of Indianapolis: Athens- Odyssey in Athens
  • Tufts Programs Abroad: London- University College London
  • DIS- Danish Institute For Study Abroad: Copenhagen- Various programs

Not only is studying abroad a great language tool, it is a life shaping tool. Studying abroad completely alters your perception on life and really shapes you into a global citizen.

And don’t think just because you’re studying and living in one country that you’re stuck to that place. During my time abroad I spent time in 5 different countries and multiple cities in France.

The great thing about travel in Europe is that it’s cheap. Okay, it’s not dirt cheap like many will make you believe, but it’s much less expensive that the US. There are great budget airlines in Europe such as Ryanair, Transavia and Veuling that can get you around for discounted prices. I believe other parts of the world offer the same commodities.

Trains are another great way to get around. We even took part in a car-sharing program where we pitched in some gas money and were able to catch a ride to Paris with someone. Be creative, but always safe, and you can get around Europe without breaking the bank.

In all my college wisdom the biggest piece of advice I can give someone is to study abroad. It will change your life and you’ll be forever thankful that you took the leap.

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Chelsea Halstead

Chelsea Halstead

University of Portland junior, Chelsea Halstead, is a Communications and French double major. Chelsea hails from Alaska originally, but calls Portland, OR home now. When Chelsea isn't at school or whipping up a mean latte as a Barista, she enjoys spending time outdoors and attempting to make Pinterest crafts!
Chelsea Halstead

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