The thought of travelling abroad and even studying abroad can be a scary one. Being away from your friends and family and out of your comfort zone for an extended period of time doesn’t seem all that desirable.
Not to mention the usually large sum of money that it costs to hop on a plane and be able to eat, sleep and have fun while away.As someone who is currently in the process of applying for an international exchange for the fall semester, I know all too well the stress of having to consider these numerous (and what seems to be never-ending) obstacles.
Everything from figuring out what classes to take, to filling out the extensive application to trying to plan out where the money is going to come from makes you want to set your goals aside and park it back on the couch.
Through talking to my friend and former roommate who is currently in England on an exchange, I know that there are certainly roadblocks along the way.
“It was really overwhelming at first, to be all alone in a new country,” she explained. “I think my first initial struggle was just to get over my fear and speak to random people in order to make friends. Once I got through that everything started falling into place a lot easier.”
In addition to making friends, learning to budget was a tough challenge as well, especially having to convert the currency. But ultimately, despite all the stress, I know that travel is one of the most worthwhile educations a person can get.
Take the Mount Royal students headed to a field school in Ghana for example. The trip guarantees their education will not be solely academic. Through actually going to a different location in the world and experiencing for yourself a different culture and way of life, you are bound to get more than you would from sticking your nose in a book.
Granted, formal education has its place and is worthwhile as well, but speaking just from the limited amount of travelling that I have done, nothing beats firsthand knowledge.I learned more about life and myself in two months of travelling in Australia than I did in probably all my high school years.
Much like going to college, travelling may cost a lot and be hard at times but you come away with much. As for my overseas pal, she said it’s all been worth it in the long run.
“I think the whole experience has really opened my eyes educationally, but more importantly I think I’ve grown so much as a person” So keeping all of this in mind, I’ve decided to pursue my abroad education at full-force, and jump the hurdles as they come.