Study Abroad: The experience is worth the cost

Studying abroad. That would be cool, but I don’t have that kind of time or money. This is what most of you reading this are saying, right? Well if you’d like to sit through this little 627-word presentation, I’d like to try to convince you otherwise.

We’ll start simply. Ever wanted to learn another language? Yeah, me too, that’s one of the main reasons I studied abroad. Studying abroad utilizes one of the few ways to maximize your language learning through full immersion.

Full immersion is, in some people’s opinion, required to fully become fluent. One language learning site said, “In reality it is very unlikely for people to really become fluent in a language without extensive periods of some form of total language immersion.” Full immersion is great because it basically causes you to spend 100 percent of your time practicing your language skills. You basically get to go about your day, but instead of using English, you get to use your new language, and for people who tend to procrastinate and be lazy like me, this is a great way to force yourself to practice.

Unless you are one of those people who never travels 10 miles from their place of birth, you probably like to travel. Travel is something most people tend to enjoy. It gives us a completely new environment with new experiences, new entertainment, and new people. This new place may be filled with wonders completely unheard of before in your own culture, but that are commonplace in this new world.

Study abroad gives you all sorts of new experiences while you still continue your education. You get to learn not only class work, but you get to be placed in a completely new culture and understand it from the inside out. Culture and language doesn’t excite you? Let’s try another avenue.

Money. The thing we hate, but need the most. Study abroad costs money. This is one of the biggest reasons I’ve heard for why people choose not to study abroad. People not only think studying abroad is more expensive than it is, but they completely ignore the future pecuniary possibilities that can be gained.

Studying abroad is going to make employers look at you in a different light. Only about 4 percent of college kids ever choose to study abroad. If you are one of the few who has chosen to take this opportunity to widen your global horizons, employers will see you as a more valuable employee in this quickly shrinking world.  If you have not only the ability to speak the language of a foreign country, but have the ability to understand them as individuals and business potential, you will be a far more valuable employee.

This all sounds fantastic, bud, but I still don’t have that kind of money. At this point in the presentation, this is usually what I get. Did you know many universities allow you to continue paying for your home tuition with no changes while abroad? That basically means if you can scrounge up a plane ticket, the costs aren’t going to change that much. I mean, you got to eat and live somewhere no matter which country you’re in, no?

I hope this presentation has piqued your interest in studying abroad, but if it hasn’t the only thing I can say is to trust me. I knew I’d enjoy studying abroad before I went, but I never knew how much that experience would drastically change my entire life path. I wouldn’t be the major I am today had I studied abroad earlier, and I wouldn’t be looking into jobs as a translator if I hadn’t gone either. Take that leap. Learn something new, better yourself, and embrace difference abroad.

– Brian

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