I’m going to let you in on a not-so-little secret...the experience of studying abroad is one that will absolutely change your life for the better. No matter which destination or culture you decide to immerse yourself in, your outlook on life and the world will transform. Although all destinations will positively impact your life, choosing which destination to study can be a very difficult decision.
When I began researching programs and locations for my study abroad experience, I was overwhelmed with options. However, I kept one very important thing in mind, and I encourage you to do the same. I reminded myself that the reason I wanted to study abroad was not only to travel and learn about the world, but also to inspire myself to take action outside of my comfort zone. In order to personally initiate this, I decided I needed to choose an unconventional destination to study abroad. By choosing the French Riviera, I had the unforgettable opportunity of living in the small, adorable town of Antibes.
Since Antibes was such an unfamiliar location to me, I had the wonderful experience of exploring a completely new place as well as experiencing southern French culture authentically. I would greatly encourage anyone still deciding on a study abroad destination to choose an unconventional location, because it will provide you the opportunity to completely immerse yourself in learning and exploring the new location as well as yourself.
Ultimately, I believe that studying abroad is most rewarding to those who recognize and embrace that the experience inherently pushes you outside of your comfort zone. I think it is important to mention that I personally achieved this through choosing an unconventional destination; however, for others it might manifest differently, like choosing a large city to live in. Once you learn to seek out that which is outside your comfort zone, then you will benefit greatly from your study abroad experience.
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