Many of my friends studied abroad in college. My best friend from high school studied in Spain. Several of my close college friends went to Costa Rica. Another close college friend went to London. A bunch of guys from Sigeps (a few thoughts on their migration to Balanced Man program) scattered themselves throughout the world.
I stayed in Seattle at University of Washington. When people find out that I didn’t study abroad, they are all beyond shocked — given how much of a travel addict I am now.
Looking back on it, I really have no idea why — though I can take a few guesses as to my reasoning. I had never traveled abroad before. I was “comfortable” where I was, with my friends. Staying put was the easy road. I was scared of the unknown.
When I first talked to Martin earlier this year, who has been helping us out a bit and already written on the topic of study abroad, I asked him what the study abroad community at Kalamazoo was like. To my surprise, he said something to the tune of…
Everyone studies abroad at Kalamazoo. If you attend this school, you’ve already made the decision that you want to study abroad.
How cool is that? Everyone studies in foreign countries? We need more schools with that mindset, and more kids who decide studying abroad is something worth doing.
I think it goes without saying, I recommend everyone study abroad if you have the opportunity. You’ll be exponentially better off over the course of your life if you experience other cultures with your own two eyes rather than just through the lens of the media.
And if you already missed that opportunity (like I did), there is never a better time to start traveling than NOW.