I studied abroad at the end of freshman year by traveling in Ireland for two weeks that summer with an Irish Literature class. It was honestly one of the best things I have ever done. Going off to college is a big step, but going off to a foreign country is even bigger. It matures you somehow, forcing you to become more aware of yourself, the people around you, and the responsibilities you face as a student, a citizen, and a member of society. Even just a couple weeks changed my perspective and altered some of my future college decisions. **DB
Acclimating to college can be a true challenge for first-year students. After all, the average freshman must learn to live more independently – to attend his or her classes and complete difficult schoolwork without outside motivation, as well as adapt to other lifestyle changes. As a result, your first year on campus is typically regarded as a time to settle into the rhythms of college life.
However, it is becoming increasingly common for freshmen to spend their first semester or year studying abroad, hundreds or thousands of miles away from their college campuses.
Should you study abroad as a freshman? Read on to learn about both the benefits and challenges of spending your first year of college overseas.
Studying abroad as a freshman can help you develop valuable skills that relate to any course of study. Learning a foreign language is one such benefit. Gaining this and other marketable skills early in your college career can equip you for future academic and career success.
Spending a semester (or longer) abroad also means experiencing a new way of life. By living in another country, you will develop a greater understanding of its people and culture, as well as a better sense of the country’s context in the wider global community. As a freshman, learning more about the world around you can greatly expand your way of thinking and help you analyze problems on a global scale — an ability that can be difficult to master at any age!