Author Neale Donald Walsch once said, “life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” When was the last time you stepped out of your comfort zone? How did you feel afterward?
One thing that people sometimes find daunting is the idea of studying abroad, trust me, I know I did at first too.
From the cost to the paperwork to leaving home and going somewhere totally new, it’s understandable how some may find it terrifying. However, if there is any fraction of your mind that wants to do it, just do it.
The thing that really pushed me to commit to studying abroad was remembering that I’m young. We’re young. We should take the chance while we can, experience the world now while there are so many opportunities available.
I get it, the cost can seem pretty intense when first looking at it, but don’t let that bog you down. There are ways to get help. At USD you can get the Farber Fund if you’re an international studies, political science or criminal justice major, which helps a ton.
You can also apply for the International Opportunity Fund if you’re an undergraduate in the College of Arts and Sciences. There are ways, you just have to find them.
The process of studying abroad can be pretty intense too, but that’s what advisors are there for. They’ll help you figure out your options and what works best for you. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Furthermore, if the idea of going somewhere alone scares you, I suggest starting by going on a faculty-led trip. These are great chances for you to visit a new country for a couple weeks with faculty experienced in the area or what you’re learning while abroad. Plus, you’ll make great friends while you’re there who you’ll always share that special memory with.
Don’t let the stress of worrying stop you from taking the leap to do something fun like studying abroad. In the end, you’re going to wonder why you ever had doubts in the first place.
Experiencing a world completely different from your own is probably one of the most eye-opening and educational experiences you could ever have. By embracing yourself in a new culture you get to learn about different people, food, languages and history that will help shape you into a better person.
The world is quickly becoming more and more globalized, especially with the use of internet and social media. Knowing how to interact with people who aren’t exactly like you and knowing how to be culturally sensitive is such an important skill.
You have so many opportunities at the tip of your fingers here at USD for study abroad, don’t be afraid to explore them.
As former Prime Minister of India Jawaharlal Nehru once said, “We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm, and adventure. There is no end to the adventures we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open.”