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What are the merits of studying abroad?

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I am a second year student in college, and I was thinking about studying abroad after one of my friends told me she was planning on doing so the next year. I would love to find out more information about the program, but I'm not sure if it is the right decision. Are their specific majors that benefit more from participating in the studying abroad program, or majors that shouldn't? What kind of experience do you get from it? #college #college-major #international #study-abroad #working-abroad #living-abroad

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Stephanie’s Answer

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http://www.cnn.com/2014/03/25/politics/michelle-obama-study-abroad-interview/
http://www.moneycrashers.com/reasons-why-study-abroad-benefits/
http://www.diversityabroad.com/guides/study-abroad-guide/study-abroad-benefits


Studying abroad can open up so many doors for you to experience things you'll never be able to learn in a classroom back home. You'll learn about new cultures, customs, socio-political systems, languages, economies, etc, and will likely make some diverse friends in the process. Anytime you get the opportunity to learn from people who are different from you, you are improving your knowledge base, your understanding and empathy towards others and you perspectives on the world. This will help you in any future career you go into, as well as in all types of relationships in your life. Chances are you'll meet lifelong friends and will have a lot of fun as well!

Hi Ms. Murnen, thanks for the advice! One of my friends is currently studying abroad in Netherlands, and she says it has been really fun, so I was thinking about it as well. I'll definitely consider my options and maybe one day I'll be going abroad as well. Albert P. Translate
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Abigail’s Answer

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GO abroad, you won't regret it. Many of the programs offer all sorts of classes so you can take electives abroad, finish up your core classes, start your major or if your university requires you to take a language you can do your language credit abroad. When you study abroad you not only learn inside the classroom but outside as well. You immerse yourself in a whole new culture, make friends globally and come back a more independent individual. Plus it stands you out on your resume to have adapted to another culture. I studied abroad for a semester my last year in college and wish I would have gone on more trips knowing what I gained from my experience. Good luck to you!

Hi Ms. Butler, thanks for the reply! I am very interested in going abroad, but my only concern that it wouldn't benefit me in terms of my major (I am a CS major). Would you suggest an aspiring engineer to study abroad? Albert P. Translate
Absolutely! Depending on what school you go too they usually have different options to go abroad depending on your major. You should start with emailing your advisor and maybe she can guide you to the right program :) Abigail Butler Translate
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Rachel’s Answer

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Albert, you really get out of studying abroad what you put into it. I studied abroad while in undergrad in Germany and gained so much from the experience. I still use a lot of my experience today in my every-day life. My major was international relations, so that had a strong tie to going abroad, but I had classmates in the same program when abroad who were mechanical engineering and photography majors who didn't know the language. Check out what your study abroad office / foreign languages office has for different programs. There are programs that are for specific majors / focuses, other programs are more focused around general life abroad.

If you have an open mind and are honestly curious about the world, you'll reap so many benefits by being out of your comfort zone. You'll learn about yourself as well as a different part of the world. You'll also learn how to engage others from different cultures and those skills help no matter what industry you work in. There are going to be days where you're in a world you don't understand, even if you're speaking the same language, those are the growing pains that are going to push you. If you're not sure this is for you, again, speak with someone in the foreign language office, they will have many people who will tell you about their experiences -- the good and the bad. For all the "bad" (read: embarrassing) moments I had, I laugh at them now and learned quickly from them so I wouldn't make the same mistake again.
Good luck!
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Ken’s Answer

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Hi Albert!


I do not have direct experience, but here are three sites that look to be helpful:
http://www.internationalstudent.com/study-abroad/guide/ten-benefits-to-studying-abroad/
http://www.studyabroad.com/student-guide-why-study-abroad
http://www.topuniversities.com/blog/25-reasons-study-abroad


Also, I would talk to your academic adviser to arrange to talk to other students at your college who have participated in or are participating in or planning on participating in study abroad programs, as this direct information would be very helpful for you to gain.


Best of luck! Please keep me informed. I would like to follow your progress!

Thanks! I will definitely talk to my academic advisor when I get back to school in January! Albert P. Translate
In the mean time, I am sure that you will be going to social functions during the holidays. Everyone that you come in contact with is a great source of information. If anyone asks you "What are you doing these days?" tell them that you are considering studying abroad and see if they have any experience or advice or information that they might be able to share or anyone that they suggest that you talk with to get helpful information. These social occasions can be great source of assistance and information. Go for it. The more people who know your interests the more information and assistance will be available to you. People are always in a good mood during the holidays and in a helpful and charitable mood that can be very beneficial to you. Ken Simmons Translate
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