Why college students should study abroad

The indulging experience traveling abroad gives


Priya Harry

Moving into an apartment or dorm, meeting new people and taking different classes is all part of the college experience. Think about how amazing it would be if you were doing all of this overseas.

College is the time when many students first taste their independence and become more well-rounded individuals. Whether you are going to college in or out of state, college is the time in your life to try new things and explore new places. Envision yourself at age 20 and approaching your third year of college. You have had many new experiences, made several friends and learned so much. What’s next? 

Many students have discovered their ambitions and passions by the time they have reached the end of college, but they might not have had the chance to experience the real world outside of their education bubble. By taking a year abroad, students are able to get a different perspective on cultures outside of their own. According to iie.org, it is important for students to gain a more eye-opening perspective to different ways of life and experiences they may have missed in high school. You may have seen different parts of the world on a family vacation but it doesn’t compare with a year-long trip with people your own age. Nothing gives college students a greater understanding of becoming independent.

The option to travel abroad is offered by most universities, with over 3,800 different agency programs in the United States giving students the opportunity to spend their academic year or semester in another country. The goal of these programs are to help learners reach their educational goals as well as helping students gain new life experiences. 

Departments specializing in international studies are found at most colleges. These departments are there to help students pick a traveling plan and destination. It’s a place where you can get help in getting your visa, picking a program to study and sorting out all financial responsibilities. 

Community colleges like Moorpark College and Santa Barbara City College give students the opportunities to travel abroad as well. Santa Barbara City College offers both semester programs or short programs. Short Programs take place throughout summer or winter break. The City College also offers different programs relating to specific career paths. In Rome, students can experience internships as long optional work experience. 

How much money does it cost? It depends. Spending over $20,000 for an exchange year or semester is not a realistic option for most students, and the good news is that it doesn’t have to be extremely expensive to study abroad, as there are cheaper alternatives. Internships and Scholarships are available for all students. According to goabroad.com,“The overall cost will end up being much lower or higher when you add in varying external factors. It’s important to research thoroughly the factors surrounding your individual journey to generate your own estimate.”  

Countries like Germany, France, Norway and Iceland do not charge tuition fees according to admit.me. The necessary expenses, though, would be for transportation, books, materials, airfare, visas and other essential supplies. The housing and utilities fee also come into play, but they’re usually provided within the overall program fee. Students can apply for different internships and study-abroad scholarships to help reduce the overall expenses. 

A student’s journey through college is a defining moment in their life. Experiences like these can shape who they become, and for many, that year abroad is an experience that will change students’ lives forever. Studying abroad in college gives students the perfect opportunity to learn and experience a whole new chapter of life.