The Value of Studying Abroad

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The Value of Studying Abroad

Zach Lentz, Staff Writer

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Studying abroad is something that all students should try to experience during their time in college. Study abroad gives students access and exposure to cultures and people that they would otherwise not get the chance to meet or experience. Most universities offer students the opportunity to study in hundreds of countries with multiple programs. Most students who study abroad are language students, as the opportunity to live with the people that use the language as well as live in the country. It is a once in a lifetime opportunity, that is, unfortunately, terribly expensive.

$18,000. That is the average cost of a semester abroad. Most college students are unable to pay that much money, and only about 325,339 out of 16 million students across all of the colleges and universities in the United States study abroad, that’s only 2%. Based off of the advantages that studying abroad gives, it’s a shame that only 2% of college students will go elsewhere.

Being able to see the world and live in another country is a dream that most young Americans have, and with study abroad, you get that fantastic opportunity. Living with a host family or with other students in campus housing is a tremendous experience. Most programs offer you choices of what city you can live in from big metropolitan hubs like Paris or London to smaller towns that you have never heard the names of before. Once you come back from your time abroad, you will have many new experiences and cultural views to share with your friends and family, and look back on later in life.

With the cost of studying abroad being so high, is it worth the extra headache? Most colleges have financial aid programs for students who want to go abroad to help offset that cost; however, most of those packages involve loans of some form. Having study abroad loans on top of the average student’s tuition debt may be a shocking factor in the future, so they are scared away from studying abroad. In the end, if you study abroad or not, you will still get your degree, graduate, and get a job. If you have the money studying abroad is an experience that you can’t and shouldn’t pass up based off all of the benefits that it offers, however, if you can’t afford it you might want to think twice about adding more debt to the pile.