During the 4.5 years I have spent at UWSP I have heard one question more than any other: “If you are from New Hampshire, why are you here?” I have given a bunch of different answers to this question, but one of the most truthful is this; UWSP has a fantastic study abroad program. This program has allowed me to travel to both New Zealand and Britain for a combined time period of 10 months.
Today the world is smaller and more accessible than ever before. Even the high cost that is normally associated with living in another country can be cut down through the application of study abroad scholarships. Better yet, you can still graduate on time, or even early, while also studying abroad for a semester! So if it is accessible, cost effective, and beneficial to your career, then what could hold you back?
It could be nerves about living so far away from home, a boyfriend who doesn’t want to do long distance, lack of flexibility in your academic curriculum, or perhaps just lack of motivation. But all these excuses fade in comparison to what living in a foreign country does for you. Study abroad is one of the greatest things to do while in school, it will change your perspective, expand your horizons, and provide you with experiences that will last a lifetime.
Top reasons for studying abroad: To develop skills that you would never find in a classroom. To learn a new language quickly and fluently. To better understand what it means to be a global citizen. To improve a resume and increase employment opportunities. To make friends from around the world. And the list can go on and on.
The quote that pretty much sums up my personal feelings about the importance of travel is this:
“Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colors. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.”
I love studying abroad, but what I really love is coming home. Participating in study abroad pushes you to become a better person, a sophisticated professional, and loving friend. It tests your convictions as well as your passions. There is a level of chance involved that can only be overcome by bravery and adventurous spirit. But the payback to taking this chance is colossal. I urge every person reading this to take the chance to create a better version of yourself through study abroad.