Don’t Become the Person Who Regrets Not Studying Abroad

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Congratulations! You were accepted into your dream university during the senior year of high school. You spent the summer eagerly awaiting move-in day while saving up money and working the old part-time high school job. Finally, after all that hard work in mandatory schooling you made it to the university dorms. It was move-in day and you were beyond thrilled and overwhelmed with excitement, fear, uncertainty, and curiosity.

After settling down and saying goodbye to your parents, you made your way to the freshman orientation ceremony. There were games, events and different organizations catering the big and warm welcome party. The various groups and associations available on campus are where you started to get even more excited about being a part of your school’s community. However, further investigation led you to the university’s office for global education.

You thought that it would be really cool to study abroad. You said you would study abroad as soon as you got the chance because it would be an amazing experience. Semester after semester you attended new classes, met new people, and participated in the same organizations that you had joined freshman year. The excitement of being in the university of your dreams has been slowly diminishing.

You thought that you wanted to study abroad, but became too involved in campus activities and was worried that there would be too much that could change if you left. Now bored with the monotonous grind of the United States university curriculum, the only thing on your mind is to graduate.

But wait, what about studying abroad? Oh, “it’s okay, I can do that later in my education career,” you had skeptically told yourself.

“It’s too late to study abroad now,” you eventually convinced yourself as a second semester junior and completely relinquished the idea of traveling the world and receiving credits towards graduation. You had an internship with a company that you loved and are interested in working for upon graduation. Now at an absolute grind, you found yourself in a rut fighting the dreaded senioritis while in your last year. Writing a three-page paper has been hindered by your motivation and resulted in an egregious attempt to write the first three sentences; it’s not because you cannot, it is because you have lost the inspiration you once had as a freshman.

Congratulations! You completed your four-year degree and received a job out of graduation! Your family is proud and you’re excited to become part of the work force with a stable income. You helped your organization grow on campus and establish a name for themselves.

But, the idea of studying abroad is still looming as the regret you never experienced in college. You think about this a lot now: not having studied abroad and the international involvement you could have had dwells in the back of your head.

Study abroad so you don’t finish college with any regrets. Life is too short to become stuck in a rut and studying abroad can assist in alleviating the nuances of life.

This post was contributed by Benjamin Witkowski, an AIFS Alumni Ambassador who spent a semester studying abroad with AIFS in Granada, Spain, as well as a J-Term program with AIFS in Brixen, Italy.

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