Great question Darin!
In general, studying abroad can be very rewarding in many ways, including but not limited to: broadening your worldview, personal growth, gaining new life skills and knowledge of other cultures, and potentially advancing your career. Personally, I found my opportunity to live and do research in Thailand for my degree one of the best experiences of my life. I connected with people that are now lifelong friends. I challenged myself by living and studying in a completely different culture - I learned more about myself as I learned more about Thai culture and was able to practice speaking Thai. It was an amazing experience and I wouldn't trade it for anything else.
This article lists some additional benefits of studying abroad that you may find useful: https://www.northeastern.edu/graduate/blog/study-abroad-benefits/
You also asked about the cons of studying abroad and perhaps the most difficult aspects of studying abroad may include culture shock related to being in a foreign country, having to figure things out on your own and missing friends/ family. This article will provide some additional insights: https://jlvcollegecounseling.com/2017/07/25/studying-abroad-the-pros-and-cons-of-international-student-exchange/
Darin, I hope you find my feedback useful.
Neha recommends the following next steps:
- Please review the articles
- Seek out an adviser if you are considering studying abroad to discuss your concerns.