Should You Study Abroad? (A College Student Perspective)
Should You Study Abroad?, Michelle Lewis
I am going to be starting my junior year at Chapman University this fall, but for the fall semester I am studying abroad through Chapman’s study abroad program. In the middle of August I will be traveling to Switzerland and fulfilling my area of study for my major. I am a peace studies major and will be studying in Switzerland. The program features multilateral diplomacy and international relations. Lots of my friends have or will be studying abroad in various locations all over the world.
One of the biggest concerns for many students is the cost of studying abroad. If you are worried about the costs of studying abroad research scholarships and talk to your advisor and the study abroad office. Also find out which programs will transfer your financial aid. Depending on what school you attend they may offer study abroad during the summer, or during the month of January (what Chapman University calls Interterm).
At each school there are a number of study abroad programs that are available for you. In order to determine what might interest you first asses what classes you need to take and if there are any programs that would allow you to complete needed classes. If you can find a program that is similar to your major then that would be perfect. For example if you are interested in politics or international relations look for a program that maximizes this. Or if you are interested in biology or conservation, look for a program that involves the environment and biodiversity. There are so many programs that run different lengths, from a quarter, semester, year, or summer program.
Studying abroad provides you with an opportunity to explore different cultures, ways of life, and allows you to make connections from people from all over the world. Depending on where you study you could be learning a new language, or becoming more fluent in a language you already know. You can gain critical knowledge and global mindfulness that could advance your profession. Traveling is one of the most exciting things about studying abroad. You will get to have so many different experiences and make memories that will last your lifetime. If you can’t spend a whole semester you could always do a summer program.
*Michelle Lewis is from Danville, CA and currently studying Peace Studies, Environmental Science and Sociology at Chapman University. Michelle on Unigo