• The Official Website of the Exponent, Wisconsin's Oldest Continuously Published Student Newspaper May 17, 2013

The worth of studying abroad

Marissa Dow, General Reporter
April 25, 2013

Studying abroad is a great experience that can give you so much more than credits.  Students are immersed into a different culture full of possibilities and people. They are able to strengthen their education as well as traveling to places they may otherwise not have the chance to visit.

For me, studying abroad gave me the ability to travel to a country I had always dreamed of going to, New Zealand.  I set out to gain experience and education in the event coordinating field at a school that specialized in hospitality.  I studied abroad in Auckland, a city of 1.4 million people based on the north end of the North Island.

In addition, studying abroad can help students in their future career.  Employers like to see that prospective employees can live internationally and possess the social skills to mix into the culture.  In most Fortune 500 companies, the CEO’s have either worked or studied abroad in their career.

Another way for students to enhance their careers is by studying abroad in a non-English speaking country to enhance their foreign language skills.  Skills will improve more drastically abroad than they will locally.  This is important because the ability to speak a second language gives students a leg up in future job searches.

There will always be negatives to something positive.  Some of these negatives are the cost of studying abroad, having less government protection, and the distance away from family and friends.  The cost of studying abroad can be offset by scholarships available through the university, the organization in charge of the study abroad opportunity, the university in the foreign and private organizations.

Studying abroad in New Zealand allowed me to be immersed into a new environment where I could focus on what I wanted to accomplish.  I was able to set future goals for myself as well as accomplish difficult tasks that I never thought I would accomplish for myself.

I do recommend that each student that is independent and courageous study abroad either during their college career or shortly after they graduate.

I enjoyed my five months of studying abroad in New Zealand, and I am planning to return this fall–just two years after I was last there.

Studying abroad is not for everyone, but it can be one of the best things you ever do if you go for it.

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