The Science Survey

Seniors Studying Abroad

Emily Bedolis ‘18 plans on studying abroad during her time at the University of Michigan.

Emily Bedolis

Emily Bedolis ‘18 plans on studying abroad during her time at the University of Michigan.

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With the majority of students having received their college acceptances, the beginning of a new era is just around the corner. There are endless possibilities up for grabs. Some students can decide to take a gap year before going to college while others are eagerly waiting to start packing their belongings. However, there is another interesting choice also open, studying abroad. Many colleges offer their students this exciting opportunity to be able to study abroad a variety of destinations outside of the country for a period of time ranging from a semester to even a year. This provides them many learning experiences that they cannot find anywhere else.

While the excitement surrounding studying abroad is high, the uncertainty with a new life in a foreign place also follows. Not knowing the native language, not having any friends coming along, and the fear of being homesick are all reasons why many students miss out on what could be the greatest experience of their life. The pros of studying abroad are much greater than the doubts many hold in their head.

Since students are often abroad for a while, and not just a week or two, it permits them to gain valuable insight and knowledge regarding the place they are studying. This is a great opportunity to see the world with a new perspective and actually immerse yourself in the culture, customs, and activities. If you have always wanted to learn a new language or progress yourself in one you already know, it would be a great idea to visit that country. Although language classes are offered in college, they only meet a couple times a week. Most of the time, you are not practicing that language outside of class. However, by choosing to visit a country that speaks the language you want to learn, you will find it to be much easier to pick up since you are always surrounded by it. Traveling abroad doesn’t have to be purely academic, it should be an experience where you immerse yourself in a new culture.

Since students are often abroad for a while, and not just a week or two, it permits them to gain valuable insight and knowledge regarding the place they are studying. This is a great opportunity to see the world with a new perspective and actually immerse yourself in the culture, customs, and activities.

Meeting new people, changing environments, and starting a new school are all big changes that seniors who decide to study abroad will be going through come the fall. For some, this will be the only opportunity to travel abroad for an extended amount of time. The place you choose should act partly as a vacation but mostly as a place where you grow and prosper. Also, the cost of studying abroad is usually the same as studying on your local campus. Take this opportunity to discover new places and possibly what you want to do in the future.

Emily Bedolis ‘18 has special plans regarding what she will be doing in college. As she describes it, “I’ve always loved to travel, but I’ve only left the continent twice. As interesting as I find places with expansive histories and beautiful architecture, the things I find most intriguing are the natural wonders of the world. New Zealand has always been fascinating to me because of its incredible bodies of water, unique rock formations, and rare animal species. That’s why, at the University of Michigan, I plan to spend my sophomore winter participating in the EcoQuest Field Studies Program in Whakatiwai, New Zealand. I want to major in Biology in college, and though I will be pursuing a pre-med track, I have always been interested in environmental activism and want to incorporate that into my education as well.”

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