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The Benefits of Studying Abroad to Life After College: A London MOJO's Perspective

April 15, 2013
by CEA MOJO

Study abroad is an experience like no other. There is never another chance in your life that you can go to another country, live there for several months, and be a full time student. It is a life-altering experience that you can take with you after your college career is over. While in London, I have grown as a person and learned so much. 

One of the main things that I think almost every study abroad student acquires is becoming more independent. Before I left for London, I hadn't been on a plane in several years and had not been out of the country since I was five years old. Needless to say, I was a little nervous about living in another country, but what I was most afraid of was figuring out how to do everything by myself. However, after I got through the airport and made it to London I realized I could handle new things and changes. Soon I was riding the tube everywhere without hesitation, discovering different areas of London, and am now planning more travels throughout Europe after my program! It is this attitude that I will carry with me after college. Now I know I am capable of doing anything and that if I ever do get stuck, there are always people willing to help!

Being abroad also helps you better understand people of different culture. London is such a diverse city; filled with many different ethnicities, cultures, and languages. Getting a chance to interact with both British and international students gave me the chance to learn about their cultures and how they look at things. Understanding different perspectives people have is a necessary skill in today's work force. As the world becomes smaller and international relations and communication get easier, knowing about other cultures, their beliefs, values, and customs is very important.

Another aspect of study abroad that I will carry with me throughout my life is the friends I've made. We all came from different countries and states in the U.S, but there is no better bonding opportunity than exploring a new country together. You have a special connection with the friends you make abroad because they are the only ones who went through the same experiences as you. You go through the challenges of living in a new environment and watching each others dreams come true. My friends and I are already planning on when our next reunion abroad will be!
          
The results of studying abroad benefit your life far beyond college abroad programs. Although you are given the chance to earn credit towards you degree, you will learn a lot of new and interesting things from your professors. Some of my favorite courses I've ever taken have been the courses I took at my London Uni! However, studying abroad has lasting effects beyond a resume booster. You discover more about yourself, attain new skills, and make great friendships! Studying abroad is an undefinable adventure, you really just have to experience it for yourself to realize all the possibilities study abroad has to offer!

Cailin Burke is the CEA MOJO in London for the Spring 2013 semester

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