College should be about more than education in the classroom. It's a chance to meet with and talk with new peers, building strong relationships along the way. When you come to college as a freshman, you experience a new place with no parents. It's stressful to start, but you eventually become comfortable in your new home. Too comfortable. That's why studying Abroad is so important.

My Experience.

I studied abroad at Oxford, taking international finance and strategic management classes. But the classes aren't what Study abroad are about. It's about the experience of living in another place, which can feel like an alternate reality.

Even in Oxford, which is probably most similar to the U.S. in terms of study abroad destinations, felt like a completely different universe. Restaurants closed by 8 P.M. Tesco was the major grocery store, not Walmart or Costco. And the activities present in a place like Oxford were different from what I could have done at Georgetown.

New People.

On this trip, I did go with some people I knew already. But there were certain people who I got to know more while on the study abroad excursion. And I value those additional connections to people who I might not have met or talked to otherwise. You can even meet people from other schools while studying abroad, forming close bonds in the short three months for which you study.

The experience of being in a new place without any idea what to do is shared by all and it creates an effective bond between all the people there.

Why You Should Study Abroad Too.

A lot of study abroad programs are expensive and inaccessible for people who want to participate. But schools tend to be willing to give financial aid when it is necessary as they want to see students go abroad as well.

But don't worry too much about the finances. When else are you going to have a chance to take three months seeing another part of the world? As a student, you have that unique opportunity. Don't miss out on it while you still have a chance.