BOSTON — Students at universities all over the United States are choosing to study in other countries across the globe. Most students who have studied abroad view it as a unique learning opportunity that they benefited from greatly.
“It is a constant learning experience,” said Suffolk University sophomore Ashley Parisa Sadrnoori, about her current studies in Madrid, Spain. Sadrnoori says she is having a more “hands on experience” learning in Madrid verses learning in Boston. “We have traveled to so many different places around Spain for different classes and it has been so exciting.”
Many students feel that studying abroad would allow them to gain a better insight into other cultures, instead of just reading about the cultures, as they do in classrooms. Studying abroad allows students to interact with the people of a different country, and it gives students the ability to fully immerse themselves in their surroundings.
Dr. Mary M. Dwyer, a study abroad advisor, says studies have shown that “the long-tern impact of study abroad on student’s personal, professional, and academic life shows that study abroad positively and unequivocally influences the career path, world-view, and self-confidence of students.”
The Institute for the International Education of Students, surveyed alumni from all IES study abroad programs from 1950 to 1999. Results showed that regardless of where students studied and for how long, the data from the more than 3,400 respondents (a 23 percent response rate) shows that studying abroad is usually a defining moment in a young person’s life and continues to impact the participant’s life for years after the experience.
Sophia Harden, 19, who is also a sophomore at Suffolk University, says she cannot wait to leave for Australia in the fall. Harden said, “It will a big change but something I know will help me out with my future endeavors.”
Universities try to offer as many different places and opportunities for students to study abroad because they feel the experience is important for students as well. “Studying Abroad allows students to interact with a different culture, not just hear about the culture and people of that culture,” said Philosophy Professor Denis Outwater.
As interest in study abroad programs has increased over the years it has become obvious that studying abroad has developed a reputation for being worthwhile and an experience every student should try at least once. Many students have studied abroad several times, and even spent most of their college careers abroad.
Students who are interested in studying abroad should visit the study abroad office on campus and make plans that work best according to their interests. There are also countless programs found online that will help students plan a study abroad trip.
Studying abroad is a valuable experience that is flexible enough so that all students can be apart of a study abroad program. Studying abroad allows students to broaden their horizons and open up to new things that they could not experience otherwise.