As scheduling for the new semester is right around the corner, I wanted to offer my advice to students considering studying abroad.
I know it can seem like an intimidating experience from the outside, but I highly encourage any student interested to sign up and do it.
My first experience abroad was last spring when I went to Ireland during Mini 4.
Many students, including myself, had always wanted to go to Ireland.
So this was such a great opportunity for myself and the other Mercyhurst students who had been looking for a chance to study abroad.
The entire experience was all new for me, from the start to the finish.
For example, I had never been on an airplane before.
So my journey to Ireland became many new adventures all at once.
While spending two months in Dungarvan, I was able to both attend class and explore the world.
I spent weekends traveling around Ireland.
I even got to spend a week in Scotland!
I have so many pictures from my time in Ireland and each time I look at them I just want to go back.
I have promised myself that I will return there at some point in the future.
However, I sadly cannot just pack up and return to that beautiful island right now.
I am instead rooting for other people to go.
It does not have to be Ireland, either; any study abroad adventure would be unforgettable.
Mercyhurst offers plenty of locations where students can study abroad.
Take the chance if it is given to you or if you have been thinking about it.
And don’t just stop at traveling to these places, learn about them too!
When you are abroad, talk to the people that live there.
Get to know their country through their own personal accounts.
From my experience, every person I met while studying abroad was incredibly welcoming and kind. They even threw welcome and goodbye parties.
Another reason why you should study abroad is that travel is cheaper.
Spend way too much money on gifts for yourself and for people back home!
These should include the different food delicacies of the country.
Trying new foods is a staple of going abroad.
But do not forget about your classes while you are abroad in another land!
Be present in your classes, as most of them tie into the culture, language and land of the place you are exploring.
Your classes are a key part of your experience abroad.
Don’t neglect them.
Be willing to learn something new. There will be plenty of chances to do so while you are studying abroad.
Take many pictures to be able to look at when you are missing the experience.
Let this first travel experience guide you down the path to continue exploring and traveling the world.
My-once-in-a-lifetime experience studying abroad was absolutely unforgettable.
I just want other people to be able to experience what I managed to experience while studying abroad.
I have one final piece of advice to anyone who wants to study abroad.
Take a little bit of time each and every single day to recognize where you are and how lucky you are.
Not just anybody is able to experience something like study abroad.
Take everything in and live in the moment.
This is an experience that you will not want to miss.