These 7 reasons why you should study abroad top any reasons why you shouldn’t

Your college years are easily the most fun years of your life. You get to experience being on your own and living in a new place. How fun and immersive they are, is up to you.

I completed my Spanish minor abroad in Trujillo, Spain, recently, and those three months were at times the most difficult months I’ve ever had.

I had to learn about being on my own, the importance of communication and self-discipline more than ever before. At times, I felt homesick (but more like, missing-American-food-sick) but now, I wish I could go back.

If you are even slightly considering studying abroad, I encourage you to force yourself out of your comfort zone and just GO FOR IT.

Here are seven reasons why you should study abroad at the College of Charleston.

 

The food is cómo se dice… AMAZING!

As soon as you read that, your mind probably immediately thought TAPAS! And I don’t blame you.

While tapas are amazing, there are so many more amazing foods that you get to try in a new place.

My personal favorite was Lentejas (Lentil Soup) and it was the best thing my tongue has ever touched.

Living in a different place can introduce you to food pairings you’ve never heard of (like chicken hearts, or mayonnaise on fish), and you shouldn’t knock anything until you’ve tried it!

Read more about some of the food I loved in my study abroad blog here.

 

Navigate a city without your phone

Personally, I didn’t want to spend money on an international phone plan. I also wanted it to be a challenge for me to actually learn my way around a city because I have no internal GPS and can literally get lost in my own neighborhood.

Being able to find my way around a city on my own is a skill I could definitely still improve on, but I got better at while studying abroad. Plus, getting lost in a town can give you great new views.

The city I lived in was absolutely gorgeous. Check out some of Trujillo’s prettiest sights here.

 

A €1.90 euro café sounds so much better than a $2.15 cup o’ joe

Where would I be without coffee? Coming from someone with a caffeine addiction, I’m not really sure. I don’t know much about coffee, but I do know that the best coffee I have ever had was at cheap cafes in the center of town.

Check out this guide to ordering coffee in Spain.

 

You learn how important communication is

Have you ever gotten in a situation where it pains you that you can’t communicate with someone who seems alone and needs help?

Working in customer service for many of my school years, I know this feeling too well. I got to meet many different types of people while I was abroad, and every time I met someone that was able to speak my native language when it wasn’t there, I instantly felt a ping of jealousy that I wasn’t as great of a communicator as they were.

I wholeheartedly believe that all students need to learn a foreign language in school, so that they can communicate more people, and actually become smarter.

It’s true! Being bilingual can improve your cognitive skills and reduce the chance of dementia. Read more about that here.

 

You’ll make like-minded and adventurous best friends

Traveling is something I’m passionate about (I mean, obviously). In communication classes, you often learn that echo-chambers are bad, but I’m here to tell you that echo-chambers are not always bad.

I think I really did become a more open person while studying abroad.

I made friends who were like-minded in the sense that they liked adventure and learning new things but open in the sense that they saw the world and other cultures as people they could learn from.

These people that I met while studying abroad are now my best friends, and I’m thankful to have such open-minded people like them in my life.

Something that I’m closed-minded about is that traveling can change the way you think. Read more about how traveling can change your life here.

 

Code-switching can be an impatient person’s best friend

Being able to talk about something with someone is pretty much a necessity if you are impatient like me and don’t want to wait until you’re in private to tell them a funny story you don’t want the world hearing.

Code-switching is when a speaker alters between two or more languages in a conversation.

The reason I wanted to study abroad in the first place was that I wanted to become more fluent in Spanish.

While I’m still not fluent (sadly) I am able to have complex conversations with other Spanish speakers, which can really come in handy if you want to tell someone something in secret.

I’m also able to switch between languages in a conversation with some of my closest friends. Read more about code-switching here.

 

Money doesn’t grow on trees; that’s why scholarships are available

I really didn’t believe my school when I first heard things like, “Studying abroad is affordable!” until I was told by a trusted teacher that scholarships really were available. So my best friend and I agreed that if we got scholarships, we would study abroad to learn more Spanish.

We ended up getting partial scholarships, and well, that’s why we ended up studying abroad and having the most fulfilling three months of our lives.

We also chose to study in a place that has a pretty low cost of living, which also helped. To get a glimpse on what the cost of living is like in Spain specifically, check out this link.

by Kylie Wehunt

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