Studying abroad can make a huge difference when it comes to having a good college experience. It allows you to step out of your comfort zone, try new things, meet new people and learn how to be independent. While many students are quick to hop on the "study abroad train," there are some who are hesitant or have no interest at all. Some common reasons students don’t study abroad are that it’s too expensive, it doesn’t fit into their schedules, they can’t be away from their dog/cat/turtle/fish for too long (really?) or they think it won't help their career. Although some of these are legitimate reasons that stop students from studying abroad, here are a few reasons as to why you should study abroad at St. John's and some information on the programs offered.
1. Global passport.
The global studies department here has a special program strictly for freshmen called the "Global Passport Program" that offers incoming students a chance to “internationalize” their academic experience from their very first days at St. John’s. Through the program, you’ll fulfill one of your core requirements in a completely innovative and comparative way while studying with top professors who will incorporate the historic and cultural treasures of Rome, Paris and New York into their courses in order to bring the curriculum alive. I am a part of this program (I leave Sunday!) and it is one of the best decisions I made in regards to studying abroad. (Also, it's only $500 plus airfare!)
2. Discover the world.
Imagine living in three major European cities over the course of one semester. Through the Discover the World: Europe program, you'll travel to St. John's campuses in Paris, Rome and Seville. In each city, you will have the opportunity to complete your academic requirements while you engage in these historic cities through field trips, site visits, academic service-learning and your own independent exploration. Students in the Discover the World: Europe program spend five weeks in France, Italy and Spain, taking courses in each country in art, language, philosophy, international business, economics and more.
3. Exchange program.
If you're interested in mastering a language and immersing yourself in a new culture, the semester-long exchange programs are for you! St. John's has developed institutional partnerships with universities around the world, allowing you to enroll directly at the host institution while earning transfer credits pre-approved by your St. John's academic advisers.
4. Opportunity to see the world.
Traveling is a good investment. By studying abroad, you will experience a brand new country with incredible new outlooks, customs and activities. In addition, when you’re abroad, you won’t be limited to traveling in just the nation in which you are studying — you can see neighboring countries as well!
5. Learn a different style of education.
The education system in a country differs due to budgets, resources and proficiency rates. For example, the education system in the UK is recognized around the world as a world-class system; the UK's education system is comprehensive and adaptable. Learning a different style of education can help shape you to become a better student.
6. Personal development.
Studying abroad really brings out your independent nature. Unless your parents are spending an entire semester (or year) abroad with you, it kind of forces you to make your own decisions, be independent and find/do what makes you happy. You discover yourself while gaining an understanding of a different culture.
7. For memories.
Not many people can travel the world, especially for a cheap price. The people you'll meet abroad, the friends you'll make and the amount of fun you will have will create memories that will last a lifetime.
So why should study abroad? Because it's relatively inexpensive, doable and you only get one life: make it count!
Lead Image Credit: Lambert Yuri via Unsplash