As my time in Italy came to an end, I reflected on the things that stood out to me the most while studying abroad there and the benefits of doing it. I learned that even though there were situations and things that were not very positive about it, the good experiences and memories of it, definitely make it worthy to study abroad no matter what!! Here are 5 reasons why you should study abroad!!
Culture: getting to know a different culture might be challenging because you will realize that not everything is how it’s supposed to be (at least for yourself). There are things that just don’t make sense from your point of view in other cultures but that’s just the way they are. This helps you understand that other cultures prioritize different values and traditions and that just because it’s different from what you are used to, it doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing or a wrong way to approach it. Studying abroad will open up your mind when it comes to understanding different cultures, it will give you a higher sense of respect and appreciation towards new people, places, experiences, and towards your own culture as well. You will be able to appreciate things you take for granted back home and don’t really value much.
People: when you study abroad, you get to meet people from all over the world, so you’re not the only one experiencing changes in your life and adaptation processes! Everyone can help each other as they are all trying to make their host country feel like home. Not only do you learn from the locals but also from these friendships that have different backgrounds and traditions. Most importantly, when you study abroad, you get to create friendships that can last a lifetime and influence your life for good. Also, in the future when you need a place to stay in a different country or state than yours, you won’t need to worry about it!
Language: if you’re studying abroad in a country where its official language it’s different from your first language, you have the chance to learn at least some basic words and grammar, that will help you communicate with the locals and pick up some conversations. If this is all you learned throughout your semester abroad, it’s already more than what your friends back home know about that language, so it’s an advantage over most people back home. If you decide to go on and learn more than the basics, you will be able to communicate with people whose culture and traditions are probably way different than yours. This in fact, could get you more job opportunities and life experiences for good than most people from back home. Studying abroad opens up doors for your life in many great ways!!
Broadens knowledge and qualifies you more for a job: in my case I study fashion design, so that’s why I decided to go to Italy and learn more about the fashion industry. The classes that I took there make me a more complete/qualified designer, as they taught so much about making accessories. I learned the basics of how to make shoes, hats, and knitted garments (actually making them, not just being taught how to do it). My home school university doesn’t offer studio classes like those I took in Italy, so studying abroad gave me the opportunity to learn things that back home I would have never learned. I learned different techniques, processes, how to work with different materials and equipment, and more. I’ve got to make relationships with my professors who have some influence in the local community within the industry and who have worked with renowned brands in fashion. If you take specialized classes from your major while studying abroad, it will prepare you more for a job than people from back home.
Written by: Isai, Fall 2023 Florence student from Appalachian State University