Originally published on The Odyssey by Saadia Rose.
“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” – Saint Augustine
Ever since I was a Freshman in highschool, I knew I wanted to study abroad in College. As I got closer and closer to my senior year at the University of South Florida, the opportunities started to catch my eye. Thankfully, my dreams came true and I am in the center of London writing this article. I am halfway through my semester and have prepared my top five reason that every college student should study abroad.
Travel is one of the best ways to gain life experience! When you steer away from the norm, your mind starts to expand. Ever heard of a bucket list? It is where you make a list of all of the things you want to do before you “kick the bucket.” Studying abroad was always on my bucket list. Specifically, there were many things that were on my list that I got to accomplish just from this one trip. I got the opportunity to see Westminster Abbey, London Eye, Big Ben, Abbey Road, Roman Baths, Stonehenge, London Bridge, River of Thames, Tower of London, Manchester United Stadium and much, much more! I have seen some of the most incredible views and have been able to experience a different culture overall.
- Meet New People!
I have met some of the best people out here in London! I encountered well over 100 other students in my program and have made a new family between a good amount of them. Our relationships are amazing. It’s weird to think that just 3 weeks ago, we all were complete strangers. I know that the new friends that I have made are genuine and will be there for me if I ever need them in the future. Meeting new people was what I needed. I grew up in Cocoa, FL, not Cocoa Beach, and when I came over to Tampa for USF last year, I only knew a handful of people. Yes, I have been able to make friends on campus and at work, but the ohana I met over the pond is one I will never forget. It’s great that we get to live together and explore a brand new turf together. I know that I am leaving London with pack of friends that will always have my back.
Once you get to college, you learn very quickly how to start fending for yourself. Now, I feel that it is so different to be in a foreign country taking care of yourself rather than being home and learning in a familiar space. Yes, that is a plate of my dinner here in London. Don’t get me wrong, I know how to cook. This is a stir fry steak, couscous and chickpeas… not Ramen. Ramen is not a bad thing, though. I have a pack in my pantry right now! Honestly, being out here alone makes you focus on you and only you. You have to worry about your next meal, getting to class on time, doing your laundry and you cannot ever forget you-time. This is the best opportunity to live up your dreams and be independent! I have had the time of my life here and I cannot want to continue to travel the world.
These are only my top 3 reasons to study abroad. There are so many more factors that make studying abroad the best experience in the world. The opportunities are endless, just make sure you do not pass them up!