So you’re thinking about studying abroad for your undergraduate degree, but don’t know if it’s the right choice? Let me share with you some of the pros and cons from my own experience. Studying abroad is not all sunny days — let’s get that out of the way.
The post will include the bright side as well as the dark side of studying abroad. It’ll remind you that it’s not a walk in the park, so make sure you’re prepared.
I’ve spent the last three months studying abroad in Spain. I’ll share my experiences and what it is like to study abroad. It can be tough, but there are lots of great things that come out of it too.
Getting out of your comfort zone
Studying abroad is one of the most incredible experiences you will ever have. It’s a life-changing opportunity that will open your eyes to new cultures and different perspectives. One thing I learned while studying abroad is that you must challenge yourself. At the time, travelling internationally all by myself was a challenge on its own, but I had to put myself in unfamiliar situations and make new friends in order to grow as a person and learn about different cultures. Studying abroad is one of the best things I’ve done for myself, and I would highly recommend it to anyone.
If there’s one thing you need to do when studying abroad, it’s getting out of your comfort zone. For me, just living in a country where I can only speak and understand a little bit of the language resulted in constant anxiety and difficulty. But then the adventure has to start, so I got out there and tried new things as often as I could.
Learning how to live independently
Besides the obvious things, I also learned a lot of skills that most people don’t need. For instance, I learned how to open a bank account, fill out rental agreements, cook, and do a lot of other adult stuff that most people don’t need to know right away. This made me more independent and confident for my future.
Making new friends
A lot of people study abroad in order to make new friends. It can be tough, but it certainly brings some good benefits. Being surrounded by people who have a different culture and speak a different language is a cool experience. Plus, you’ve got the opportunity to learn a foreign language and make local friends abroad.
Foreign exchange programs are one of the best ways to spend your time abroad. By studying abroad, you’ll meet a lot of exciting people and learn about their culture. You’ll also be able to make some lifelong friends and expand your horizons.
Seeing the world and making unforgettable memories
Studying abroad is the best way to see the world. You get to be in a new place and never run out of things to discover. You’ll learn about different cultures, see new foods, explore new places and meet different people.
Studying abroad is one of the most memorable things I’ve done in my life. Seeing the world and all its culture was such a rich experience. I recommend it to anyone who wants to experience something new and see a different side to the world.
Learning about a new language and culture
One of the most rewarding things about studying abroad is learning about different cultures and practices. Before I went, I only knew English, but when I suddenly needed to write essays in another language, that’s when I learned the fastest! From my experience, by far the most impactful moment was learning about Canadian history and the First Nations.
You will also experience huge differences in teaching styles and life perspectives. Taking a look at certain things from another point of view really is an eye-opener.
Starting your life with a blank page
Some benefits of moving abroad are that you start over with your routine and habits. Suddenly, you’re the only one making decisions for your day to day life. It feels really freeing, like you start with blank slate. Many people get the opportunity to try new things when they move abroad- I discovered a newfound love for Zumba and yoga, which is offered by the university, among other things. It gave me an opportunity to discover new hobbies.
Cons of studying abroad
Studying abroad, or preparing to study abroad, is not always an easy process. There are several challenges that come with the territory. However, I view these challenges as something that can be overcome if you keep a positive attitude and tackle them head on!
The costs of studying abroad can be very high. It’s not always easy to find a place to stay and sometimes the cost of living is higher in a foreign country than it is in your home country. Plus, it can sometimes be difficult to find student jobs because of visa restrictions.
You’ll be missing out on events at home
When you study abroad, there will probably be a lot of things happening back at home. It’s impossible to avoid missing events like birthday parties, but don’t forget that living abroad is also creating many unforgettable memories.
Culture shock is real
I wouldn’t be surprised if you’ve heard this term before. It means the differences abroad might have made you feel uncomfortable and homesick. You might not have liked all the new things (the small things too) about your new country, but that’s perfectly normal.
What if this feeling never goes away? It’s important to remember that it will pass eventually. It doesn’t mean you should ignore it or push it away — in fact, some people are able to overcome a culture shock by keeping contact with friends and family back home, finding new hobbies, and making new friends. Anyone who has spent some time living abroad will tell you that there is no need to worry because this comes with the territory. In the long run, people tend to be comfortable adjusting to a new environment and they gradually find their way in it.
Language and cultural barriers can be frustrating
Studying abroad can cause some disadvantages, like cultural and language barriers. It may be frustrating not being able to speak the language of the country you’re in. You may face a certain barrier because of your lack of understanding or lack of cultural understanding. But, you’re not alone! There are many other international students with the same problem!
You might feel lonely
There are times when you’ll be lonely, but it’s nothing to worry about. You’re living in a new country all by yourself, so you’ll miss your friends and family at home. Although making new friends can help, you may still feel lonely at times. But there’s no better way to beat this feeling than exploring your new surroundings! You’re not alone!
As scary as it might sound, the scariest part of starting a new journey is not getting on that plane or arriving at university. The toughest part is preparing to embark on the journey.
Finding a place to live is a difficult process. I managed to find an apartment that turned out to be a scam and I lost 600 Canadian Dollars. The first place I was going to rent had me sign a lease before seeing it, which ended up being a sketchy deal. Luckily for me, I found a different, safe place to live in just the nick of time.
Although it sounds like there are many challenges to studying abroad, I hope you don’t let them stop you! You can overcome these challenges and make your study abroad the best time of your life if you plan ahead and do a lot of research!
All the experiences you have while studying abroad are bound to be unique. I hope I gave you a realistic overview of what to expect while living abroad. Now, go book that plane ticket!