Written by: Michelle Rossini
The best time to travel is while you are in college. Study Abroad programs allow you to travel to a variety of countries with other students sharing the same interest. Some of the benefits include: learning a new culture, possibly learning a new language, getting UNF credit for the classes you take abroad, and many times you can get some of the expenses paid for through scholarships and grants. The International Center is your go-to guide for everything concerning your Study Abroad needs. It is a Faculty-led program that helps enrich and transform the lives of student while providing endless opportunities for them.
“Students who engage in international study programs are likely to return with a deeper and richer understanding of international, political, and economic issues” (UNF Study Abroad website.)
I know from experience these international programs can really change the way you think and see the world. This past summer I went to Spain for two months to study the language and culture. It was literally the best experience of my life and I was able to meet 10 amazing people who also love the language and culture. We traveled to many different parts of Spain and visited tons of museums, monuments, churches, ruins, small towns (pueblos), etc.
While in Spain, I attended two classes Monday through Thursday until 3 p.m. and then had the rest of the day to do whatever I liked. Typically, because of the weather, I would go to the beach, travel to a pueblo, walk around the city, go to shopping malls or boutiques, attend festivities, etc. I did all these activities while interacting with the natives in Spanish. I was in a 24-hour/7 days-a-week full emergence of language and culture. Sometimes it was a bit overwhelming but the experience and the amount of vocabulary I learned was really incredible and unforgettable. I really would not change a single moment of the time I spent in Spain. Doing the Study Abroad program I became more open-minded, I began to appreciate Spain and my own country a lot more, started new friendships, came to a better understanding of how the world works, and learned how to be more responsible for my myself.
I recommend studying abroad for everyone, because anyone can benefit from all the unforgettable things they will see. You’ll make memories that will last a lifetime. Take the time to think and plan where you would want to go and what you would like to study. There is really no better time than now to experience a new culture right in front of you and live it. GO STUDY ABROAD!