5 REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD STUDY ABROAD
"Where you moving?" I said, "onto better things." I promise you, there is a Drake line for EVERYTHING and it served as my response to everyone who questioned my decision to study abroad. Here, I present to you five reasons why you should study abroad and explore the world based on my personal experience.
1. GROW THE FUCK UP.
The thought of moving to a foreign country may scare the hell out of you, but if you have never moved away from home, it may be the smartest decision you'll make as a young adult. It will force you to be independent and see what you can do on your own. Pull up your pants, be a big kid and tell your family you are moving to the Netherlands to further your education.. in marijuana that is.
2. GET THE FUCK OUT.
Travel, travel, travel! From celebrating Karnival in Germany, hiking through the colourful villages of Italy, riding the canals of Amsterdam, embracing my melanin glow on the beaches of Spain, taking unlimited shots of absinthe in the Czech Republic, visiting the European Parliament and chugging beers with my professor in Belgium, and adopting a strict baguette and wine diet in France - I've done it all. Take advantage of every weekend, holiday and self proclaimed "sick" day. And, yes, I passed all of my classes. ---- Tip: Studying abroad in Europe allows you to travel throughout EU countries cheap. Airlines such as Ryan Air offer cheap flights (even some roundtrip flights under 20 euros) and hostels provide economical accomodation for travellers.
3. BE CULTURED.
Immersing yourself in a new culture and interacting with people of diverse backgrounds builds your cultural competence and allows you to gain new perspectives. If you study abroad, you may potentially find yourself housed with a Spanish roommate who despises you for your nocturnal lifestyle and loud hip hop music, Danish neighbours that make you hate your life for being so damn perfect, and German classmates that rebuttal every bullshit point you make in class in effort to convince your professor you actually completed the assigned readings. Whatever the case may be, people are different and you'll learn to both accept and appreciate the diversity.
4. LEARN A NEW LANGUAGE, OTHER THAN BULLSHIT.
Okay, easier said than done. Trust me, I've tried. After studying in the Netherlands for nearly five months, I thought I would be able to communicate basic phrases in Dutch. Well, my Dutch skills went as far as nodding my head with a smile and saying "dankjewel" to everyone who spoke to me (means thank you). Learn from my mistake and be sure to communicate with native speakers wherever it is you are. Not only will it make life easier in your new home, but being bilingual is sexy as fuck.
5. BUILD YOUR RESUME.
Last but not least, your resume is pretty damn important. After graduating university, I fell into the inevitable new graduate blues, realizing I'm just another person with a degree in a sea of hopeless romantics waiting to fall in lust with their less than desirable "dream" jobs. BUT, I saw the light at the end of the tunnel when I added my exchange experience to my resume and acknowledged that it looks pretty fucking awesome, in combination with my other volunteer and job experience. Employers value the knowledge and skills acquired through international experiences, as it requires extreme adaptability and develops proficient communication skills.
AND, it never fails to spark up a conversation in a job interview. "WOW! You studied in Europe!? I've always wanted to go! Can you recommend any places to go!?" Promise, it never fails. I even managed to land a full time teaching job in South Korea because of this!
And there you have it folks... Pack up your bags and embark on an adventure of a lifetime. AND DO NOT FAIL YOUR CLASSES, like a few of my friends on exchange did. Happy studying!