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We learn, we work, we live, we die. That’s it isn’t it? That’s the natural order of things. Sounds a little cut and dry when you think about it. I’m going to let you in on a little secret and it’s pretty cliche so bear with me. Amidst the humdrum of everyday life, opportunities will always arise. Don’t ever pass them up. For those entering college there is one opportunity that I urge you not to overlook: studying abroad.
Study abroad programs are growing in popularity and are offered at more and more colleges nationwide. For a few weeks, a semester or even a year, students can earn credits towards their degree while continuing their education in a foreign country. Common destinations include Spain, Italy, Germany, Australia, and France.
Naturally, cost is a primary concern, but studying abroad is more attainable than most realize. There are many scholarship and grants available and surprisingly students who qualify for aid at their university can often use that money to pay for study abroad classes and other program expenses. And of course opting for a semester long stay versus a year long one will save a lot of money. But hey, even having a taste of a different culture is better than starving yourself of the opportunity.
The point of college is to prepare students for the real world and what better way to do that than to send them out into it. Studying abroad has all of the benefits and structure of higher education, but also pushes students out of their comfort zone, and helps them develop more worldly skills. Interacting with people from different countries, immersing themselves in a new and diverse culture will only better equip students for the future.
Life is short, and at times, mundane. To travel is to learn and to find value in the world we live in. Studying abroad is a once in a lifetime chance and a unique way to truly learn. Do yourself a favor, never settle for complacency, jump on every opportunity because opportunity is what makes life exciting. To bring out my inner Disney nerd and to quote Peter Pan; “To live will be an awfully big adventure.”