Five Reasons to Study Abroad


by Chloe Pica

Leaning Tower of Pisa, ItalyStudying abroad can change your life perspective. So when the opportunity arises to study abroad here are five reasons to pack your bags and book your ticket.

1) Experience: You can have the experience of a lifetime! Many students that study abroad find themselves talking about it for years to come.  To be able to see and live in different parts of the world creates a sense of maturity for any student.  I personally love being able to start any sentence with, “When I lived inItaly…” or “When I lived inCosta Rica”.

2) Friends: Although many students already have established friendships here in the States, imagine the people you’ll meet abroad!  Not only will you have a chance to connect with locals, learn about their lives, and become involved in their day-to-day activities, but you’ll also have a chance to connect with those who are in the program with you!  A certain type of lasting bond develops with those people you meet abroad.  You’ll quickly realize that after your trip, you’ll have friends all over the world!

3) Perspective: Studying abroad is the perfect opportunity to experience a new culture.  In the beginning, you might experience an initial sense of culture shock, but it goes away soon enough.  To be able to be fully immersed in a culture other than your own is a gift in disguise.  To experience living from another perspective has always given students a greater meaning to life.  I know that after I lived in the rainforest for two weeks without electricity, hot water, technology, an indoor shower, and a cement floor, I began to fully appreciate other ways of living, as well as appreciate my life in the U.S. even more.

4) Low-cost: There are so many financial opportunities available for students today.  Numerous programs are waiting for students to join and be apart of their adventures with them.  It is true that it can be very difficult to study or live abroad after a student has graduated.  Now is the time to go!  When I lived inCosta Rica for a month, I went with a program called ISV, or International Student Volunteers.  You spend two weeks volunteering on a project site, and two weeks doing to most fun, adventurous activities ever.  Best part is, this program allows you discounts, scholarship opportunities, and fundraising advice.  I raised nearly $1,500! It is possible!

5) Diversity: The most rewarding part of living abroad is the gift that is unknown until you return home.  Students return with a sense of love fascination, and yearning for the area they lived in.  The diverse cultures that students get to experience create a lasting impression on them forever.  Students find themselves talking about these different cultures to anyone who will listen.  I know personally that I love to be able to say how much I loved living with a simple family in the rainforest with simple accommodations.  Their culture in that town is so simplistic compared to the culture I’m immersed in here.  Students will have that same opportunity to make such heavy comparisons and contrasts to different cultures firsthand!

Chloe Pica, CSUMB Student studied abroad in Florence, Italy in 2010 with GSE, or Global Student Experience and went abroad in Costa Rica in 2009, with ISV, or International Student Volunteers.