Has anyone ever thought about seeing the world? Going to different countries, seeing new things, learning more about the big, blue marble we all live on, it all sounds grand. At Longwood University, we have been connected with great study abroad programs that can help us make this a reality. The question is, why? Why go to study abroad when we could stay in the comfort of our own home and see the world through our computer? Why study abroad?
The first reason to study abroad is that people can learn new things. This could be a language, culture and different perspectives. In some study abroad programs, a person could move to a country where they do not speak English, so that person has to adapt to their native tongue to be able to function properly while in said country. Yes, they do have classes where the instructions are in English, but who knows what could happen outside of the classroom? A person might need to find a place or person and have to ask another person for help, so it is important to pick up that language. Even if it is just a couple of basic phrases, it could still help in the long run. Along with learning a language, anyone can pick up an entire culture. It seems obvious that someone could go to another country and be exposed to something new, but the idea is to go and soak it all in by being open-minded. Learn new things, try their food, learn about day-to-day life in that country. A person could learn a lot about a country by just taking a simple tour, but spending the semester there gives a person plenty of time to dive in and become one with that society. Take time outside of classes to learn more and become more diverse. Being diverse can open up a lot of doors.
Another thought about studying abroad is the fact that it can give people new opportunities. People can open up jobs on an international level by just traveling to a different country, or showing in a resume that someone has studied abroad can help increase the chances to be presented with an opportunity. It is just like knowing a second or third language, it helps build communication skills, therefore increasing chances for a callback. The more a person travels, the more diverse they become, and therefore increasing any chance of gaining new opportunities, maybe even personal opportunities.
The final point this article will be making is that people can improve themselves as a whole. Not only do people improve by learning languages and become more diverse, they learn more about themselves. It is hard to go to a different country and leave without meeting at least one friend. People need people and it never hurts to have friends all over the globe. And learning about oneself is grand! We learn about ourselves by finding new hobbies, interests or maybe even a new home. Some people go to a country and they absolutely fall in love with the place. It is important to make yourself happy, even if it means leaving the comforts of home.
To wrap this up, this article gives a strong recommendation to study abroad. This is the time to do it, when Longwood has offered us all these wonderful connections. When we are curious, we have opportunities. This is something that can be put to great use, so don’t let this go to waste. Go see things people haven’t seen, try new foods, meet new people and learn about the world!