Studying Abroad

Student Perspectives on Studying Abroad

Studying abroad perspectives 1:

I would definitely recommend studying abroad to any college student. I spent six months in southern England and absolutely loved it. I had the opportunity to learn about and live in a different culture, to travel all over Europe, meet great people and to ultimately discover a lot about myself. There are so many places to go, so take advantage!

Study abroad perspectives 2:

When it comes to college, studying abroad was the best decision that I have ever made. I came to Gustavus knowing I wanted to go abroad for an entire year, and my decision to study with IES in Berlin, Germany and Dijon, France was easy for me.

For some students, studying abroad is a very hard decision. Being away from friends, schedule conflicts, and financial issues are all aspects students need to think about. Every student who I’ve spoken with who has gone abroad, whether a semester or a year, has said that it was completely worth it. Friendships can be continued through email and instant messaging, and I found that some friendships were stronger after I got back. I also met so many new people, and made many new friends from around the world.

Classes are sometimes a difficult thing to figure out before you leave. Each department is different, and it is required that each student meets with the department head to discuss which classes will transfer. While most students still graduate within the four years, some need an extra semester. I feel that the extra semester is entirely worth it. Financially it isn’t ideal, but the experiences that I gained from my year abroad outweigh the costs of an extra semester.

Finances are also an issue. Some programs have tuition that is more expensive than Gustavus, while others are about the same. It is also possible to live cheaply while abroad if you’re smart about it. Taking out a loan for going abroad is a good idea, and that can be done through the school, so that the loan can go towards all extra expenses.

The things that I found to be the best about studying abroad were my host families, learning a new language, and traveling. I now have two families in two different countries that I can visit, send emails, and send pictures. They became very important in my life, and I know that I will continue to be in contact in the future. Hopefully I can go back and visit them often.

I studied two different languages during my year abroad. I never thought I could learn and speak two foreign languages, but I did. I feel that I have learned so much more about the other cultures, including our own, through language. During my second semester I traveled a lot. I learned a lot about traveling on my own, traveling with others, and how to be a smart and safe tourist.

Going abroad was the best thing that I have ever done. I now have an idea of what I want to do with my life after college, something that I didn’t have before I left. I know I can live in another country and make foreign friends, and even speak another language. Every day I wish I could go back and experience more, and hopefully soon I can.