Students and teachers, please stay seated and fasten your seatbelts for the semester of a lifetime. 

When planning for the next four years of each student’s collegiate experience, many things must be taken into account. Aspects such as sports, Greek life, clubs and academics are heavily weighed in the ultimate decision of where to go to college. While these are all important, most tend to overlook the option of the true once-in-a-lifetime experience that comes with studying abroad. Traveling around the world for the first year or semester of college comes with numerous benefits such as stepping out of comfort zones, exploring new cultures and ultimately widening global perspectives. 

After graduating from high school, college is the perfect opportunity to take the next step in life. Whether that is moving out or attending school in a different state, many choose to step out of their typical comfort zone for a new adventure in life. Although it may seem scary, traveling abroad can be the largest boost into the real world and teaches young adults how to tackle life across the world. Being oceans away from all friends and family can force an individual to rely less on those around them and grow as a person in this pivotal time in their life.  

In addition to the benefits that come from stepping out of comfort zones, studying abroad can allow students to explore new cultures and traditions of those on the other side of the world. Spending months in a new country such as Italy, Spain, Panama, London and more gives each student the chance to observe and learn from the customs, applying them to their own lives. This can generate genuine relationships and bonds with people from all over the world that not many people have the opportunity to do in their lifetime. While also making memories, experiencing the culture firsthand can serve as a huge source of knowledge for each student who passes through the program. 

Studying abroad is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Due to specific circumstances, many people never get the chance to leave the United States. Getting to do so in a very safe and organized manner with a university can be incredibly life-changing and eye-opening. Seeing the world at such a young age allows for a wider perspective on life which makes studying abroad so significant. This can cause immense amounts of growth in students on their journey away from home and grant them a larger global perspective on the people and world around them. 

While being across the world in a foreign country right off the bat after graduating high school can be scary, it is the ultimate form of growth that can enforce independence within each student. Not being able to rely on family or friends directly around you can enforce life skills that will always be beneficial, no matter the location. Studying abroad is an experience that comes with unlimited benefits such as experience and individual growth. When deciding on the next four years, studying abroad should be considered more often for its memorable and advantageous characteristics.