Students, consider a semester abroad
The deadline for study abroad applications is fast approaching, the priority deadline being March 15, so I want to take a little time to emphasize just how much I think how everyone should at least consider the amazing opportunity to spend a semester in another country. Of course, studying abroad is not for everyone, and unfortunately some majors do not have as much wiggle room to allow for an entire semester away from campus, but speaking from experience, if you have ability to, it will be an experience that you will remember and be grateful for the rest of your life.
Growing up, I always wanted to study abroad in college. In fact, the study abroad program was one of the reasons that I chose Loras. I decided to go to Ireland after taking a class on Modern Irish Literature with Dr. Auge my first year at Loras. I fell in love with learning about the country and the people’s culture, and the fact that it was an English-speaking country was also a plus for me personally.
When I first started school here, the time to apply seemed a long way off. And then when it finally did arrive, I have to admit that I got a little anxious. It was a big financial investment on top of regular school expenses, it was months away from family and friends, and I was afraid about getting behind in my classes for my major. However, I spoke with students that had previously studied abroad, along with faculty like Abbie Behrens, and they were able to soothe all my anxieties and I got more excited than ever. And they were right because here I am today, still on track to graduate with two majors and two minors in four years, finances under control, and having reunited with my family and friends with a ton of great stories and life experiences under my belt.
I got to live out lifelong dreams of seeing the Eiffel Tower, going to Greek Islands, visiting the home of my ancestors in Norway, eating gelato in Italy, and sitting on the Cliffs of Moher, basking in the native beauty of Ireland. Sure, there were moments of homesickness here and there, but for the most part I was too busy on adventures to miss home too much, and I knew that it would be waiting for me come May.
I have absolutely no regrets about studying abroad. The only negative side effect is that it WILL give you an insatiable lust for traveling even more, and it really is an itchy travel bug! After my semester abroad I know how to budget and travel smarter, and I am confident that I will have plenty of trips down the road to go on. If you have even a small desire to study abroad, talk to Abbie or me, or anyone that’s spent time abroad, for no matter how long! They will say the same thing that I did: go for it! Besides, it never hurts to investigate the possibility. If you’re remotely interested, turn in your application and you might start the adventure of a lifetime.