As a recent graduate, I know current students are thinking about the upcoming semester and all the life-changing decisions you will make over the coming year.
All the “Should I?” questions…
My answer: Do it.
To borrow a sporty slogan, Just do it.
Senior? How do I make my four years of college complete?
Junior? How do I apply to a job/where do I want to work?
Sophomore? How do I make a resume/ what do I want to do with my life?!
Freshman? How do I make college unforgettable?!
I know it seems like a huge financial burden— an impossible feat— but I promise that it will be one of the most unforgettable, life-changing experiences… ever.
My best friend Brittney, weighs all of the pros and cons of going abroad before she trekked to Ireland during the second semester of our junior year.
Yes, she drove herself into debt, and she missed a semester with friends. But it is what she gained that overcame everything else.
She found herself.
Brittney discovered unknown land.
She explored the peaks and valleys of Cork, Ireland. Britt used her spare time to travel Europe, living in hostels while making new friends and experiencing their culture.
Brittney engulfed herself in foreign customs.
(Sidebar–Brittney is passionate about dance. In Ireland, she joined the dance team, learned Irish step dancing over the semester and put on a showcase abroad. A showcase!)
We were all nervous for Brittney. She always lost her school ID and would lose her head if it were not attached to the rest of her body. Her time abroad allowed her to overcome her short comings as she learned independence, responsibility and a passion for traveling.
Brittney came back to open arms for our senior year. Yes, she missed the daily drama and weekend extravaganzas, but all the regular stuff doesn’t compare to what she gained.
Two years later, Brittney is now going for her masters in marital therapy. She has a new boyfriend. She has friends and a network that is global. She is worldly and educated on a greater depth than any of her counterparts who chose to stay in New England.
The reason why I write about Brittney’s and not myself is because I did not go abroad for a semester. I did go on the Sophomore International Experience, SIE, a two week study abroad program Bryant University offers to several different locations. I traveled with a group of 30 students to Paris, France, and London, United Kingdom, studying international business.
Due to an illness in my family, I chose not to go abroad for a semester. I do not regret staying home, but I wish I had the opportunity to travel for an extended period of time– like Brittney.
Whatever it is: two weeks, six months, four years… I can promise you, you will not regret going abroad.
If you are still uncertain about what the next year will hold, I will clarify:
Senior: Go abroad first semester, or travel over winter break. Your friends will miss you but they will be there upon your return. It will not complete your four years, it will make them unforgettable.
Junior: It is a global economy and companies hire employees who have an international outlook. Stand Out.
Sophomore: A resume needs to have depth, substance. You will find direction abroad, you will learn what you want to do. You will not only complete your resume, you will complete yourself.
Freshman: Make your college career unforgettable by planning to go abroad now.
Leave the boyfriend/girlfriend behind, pack your suitcase and get ready to indulge in an international excursion that you will never forget.
Morgan is a contributing writer and recent graduate from Bryant University
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