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The Benefits of Study Abroad

2020-08-31

This is a column I wrote for my school's international studies newsletter for high school students.

When I was seven years old, my family moved to France and it changed my life. How could it not? I learned a new language, made new friends, and saw exciting places. My experiences living across the U.S., Europe, and Asia changed me as a person, and if you, too, can study in another country, it could be amazing.

When should you go abroad? Global health this year is a question mark, and who knows what next year will bring, but with any luck, you’ll have an opportunity in high school or university. You can probably find the time, but you also need to find the motivation. Why exactly would you want to go abroad? Everyone has different answers.

Maybe you want a challenge. Learning a foreign language and adapting to a new culture help you learn who you are. You might get homesick or have communication problems, but as you overcome those problems, you’ll gain strength and confidence.

Maybe you want to see the world. From food to fashion to music, experiencing new things is rewarding and exciting. People in different countries think and act in different ways, and when you live abroad, your own thoughts and actions will evolve. Also, perhaps you can make friends from around the world, and these connections could last a lifetime.

If you have the chance to study abroad, I hope you carefully consider it. There are so many interesting things to learn about yourself and the world. Be a global citizen. Go out and find them.

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