Greetings again from London! It has been six weeks now since I have been living and studying in London, and I am having the time of my life! When I began my exploration into studying abroad, I had no idea that it would have this much impact on me. Now, I know I have only been here for a few weeks, and I still have quite a bit of time in the Queen’s country left, but I want to take this time to share with you the many benefits of studying abroad!
As I started to introduce myself to the topic of studying abroad just one year ago as a sophomore at UMD, I ended up asking myself some questions:
- Where would I want to study?
- What are my goals when I’m there?
- Can I afford a semester abroad?
- Ultimately, what will I gain from the experience?
By trying to find answers to these questions, I found myself walking many paths for answers. I talked with staff at our Study Abroad office about different opportunities overseas, I met with my academic advisors to see if such a trip would still align with my academic plans, and I discussed the topic with family and friends to view their opinions. Overall, the process of just deciding whether I wanted to study abroad took more research and self-understanding than I thought. Finally, when I started to sit down with fellow classmates who had returned from studying abroad was when I recognized my desire to travel! They would tell me all about their travels, the things they saw, the people they met, and the experiences they had, however, I realized that there was something missing from the conversations we were having… it was ME! I was missing the true value of the talk and the experience, and many of the interactions I had with global veterans went right over my head. Because I had not shared their travels, their friendships, and their experiences, I was not able to connect with them on their level. That is when I realized that studying abroad was for me! I wanted to be able to connect with people and share my own adventures and stories.
After discovering a bit more about myself, and what my goals were as a student, the rest just seemed to fall into place. If I were talking with a fellow student who was asking me the questions I proposed, these would be my answers:
Find your dream destination, and set sail! There are an exponential amount of places and programs on this planet for studying, interning, and even volunteering!
To explore culture, to explore life, and to explore your own goals and passions in life.
Yes! There are a bunch of programs and scholarships through UMD and other places to support your travels, and ultimately the experience overseas is priceless! If you want to go, you can make it happen.
You will gain values of a lifetime! You get to explore different cultures, see amazing places, and truly grow as a person. By pushing yourself out of your comfort zone (home) you truly learn to grow!
All in all, I highly recommend studying abroad to any fellow student. If you would like to learn more about the opportunities of studying abroad, then take a walk down to UMD’s Study Abroad office where they will be more then happy to help you every step of the way!
Of Possible Interest:
- Abroad Adventures – all our blog posts on the topic
- Steps to Teaching Abroad
- All Things International – our Pinterest board filled with articles & resources