Studying abroad is the term given to describe a sort of program in which students live in a foreign country and attend foreign schools. Surfing the web on Expedia for a vacation is almost like window-shopping which culture to experience next. Spain, France, Japan and many more countries with rich cultures and sights to savor are enough to tempt people to book a vacation for a few days or weeks. But what about studying — rather than just sightseeing — in a completely new country, language, and environment?
Often times, this opportunity is only given to university students who are no longer minors. Usually, two universities make an agreement to “swap students” and each student can live in their foreign country hosted by the other’s family. The universities can also provide dormitories to stay in. The program for studying abroad can be strictly study-only, for certain universities, or can involve volunteering and interning.
Studying abroad definitely emphasizes the new experience of a foreign culture and environment. Although studying abroad is mostly reserved for older, university students, younger high schoolers also have the chance to learn across the ocean. Pertaining to age, high school students usually have to live with a host family who can provide capable supervision. Though this supplements a menacing environment of unfamiliarity, the promise of an exciting new experience coupled with a sample of a foreign country’s weather and education offers a tempting invitation to students on the fence about studying abroad.
But aside from culture and a new experience, what else makes the appeal? Though new cultures definitely play a significant role in choosing a country to reside, studying abroad is still studying abroad. As a result, education also plays a factor too. Some students fly off to different countries in an effort to examine the different teaching styles of different countries.
It also helps dramatically in sharpening skills in a language, especially when you need it to communicate constantly. To top it off, living by yourself in a new world brings out the opportunity for independence and development of personal skills, especially those in communication to acquaint with new people. Joyce Lin (10) says that “[she] would like to study abroad in Taiwan. [She] thinks that studying abroad is beneficial because you get to come in contact with different people, and you’re able to develop skills to interact with different people.”
Above all, studying abroad in a foreign country opens the gates of opportunities for us to explore culture and education outside of Yorba Linda. Whether in Europe or the Americas and across the world, there is always something new to learn about the people outside your community.