Deciding to studying abroad is one of the biggest commitments a student can make during their time as an undergraduate. While it promises an amazing experience, there are social aspects a student has to consider. Do I really want to miss out socially on a whole semester of college? Do I want to go alone or with my friends? What if I don’t make new friends when I’m abroad? These were some of the things that I was worried about when I was preparing to go abroad for the spring semester of my Sophomore year.
While I always knew I wanted to study in Italy, and that it was something I wanted to experience on my own, I was still terrified to jump into it. The semester before, as my work for school started to pile up as well as my paper-work for studying abroad, the thought of my experience not being worth it often came to my mind. However as I now come near the end of my study abroad experience in Milan, I think back to all the amazing growth I have had that can only come from doing an abroad experience. Even though it took a lot of preparation and effort, I am so glad that I decided to go abroad because this semester has been one of the best times of my life personally, socially, and professionally.
In my personal life, going abroad has shown me that doing things that are uncomfortable or unconventional can often pay off. While just committing to the trip alone was enough to put me out of my comfort zone, I became more and more comfortable with pushing my limits as the semester went on. Some of the experiences I have had that pushed me out of my comfort zone include traveling internationally alone, interviewing for a job in a foreign langue, babysitting for an Italian family, and countless other experiences. These things don’t come included when you sign up for the program, you have to go out and find things to make your experience interesting. After all, for most people, it’s your only time to go abroad, why not take advantage of it?