Opinion: Students should explore study abroad opportunities


Students from the American River College Study Abroad course HIST 399: Italian History and Culture, pose on a rock in Greece during their stay in summer 2015. Studying abroad can open up many opportunities for students to experience different cultures. (Photo Courtesy of Ashley Nanfria)

Emily Thompson and Ashley Nanfria

A previous version of this story falsely reported that the students were sitting on a rock in Italy. They were in fact in Greece.

Studying abroad is a life-changing opportunity that benefits not only students but our nation and the world. It is an opportunity that everyone should take.

The best way to understand another country’s culture and point of view is living in the midst of it.

Every college student wants the opportunity to find themselves and explore the world.

Around the American River College campus, students can see posters and flyers for study abroad trips — trips to Barcelona, London and Italy.

Many students get turned away because studying abroad is expensive, but a lot of students aren’t even aware that ARC even has a program for it.

Think of studies here in America: every day includes the same boring classroom and material.

Studying abroad is about opening your eyes to the world around you and getting an education beyond that of a textbook or a lecture in a classroom. Learning in a new place and a new country can be something life-changing.

Lectures should be about more than just the words written in a book. Learning about history in those fields where battles took place would be amazing.

When it comes to learning the language, there really is not a better way to learn than to be surrounded by that culture.

Reading novels can be taken to the next level by reading them in exactly the same place where the author created the life behind characters.

All these scenarios can be brought to life through study abroad programs.

Taking students and placing them in areas around the world in order to get a first-hand take on subjects can change their world. It can raise students desires and understanding of education to a higher level.

It is said that someone can not be a well-rounded and educated person without being entirely informed about the world in which they live.

People will have a better perspective of the outside world if they were to study abroad.

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The Colosseum in Rome, Italy is one of many landmarks in the country that students get the opportunity to visit in the study abroad course HIST 399: Italian History and Culture.
The Colosseum in Rome, Italy is one of many landmarks in the country that students get the opportunity to visit in the study abroad course HIST 399: Italian History and Culture. (Photo courtesy of Ashley Nanfria)

Learning about the world around while also learning about one’s self can be one of the biggest accomplishments a person can make while studying abroad.

Studying abroad requires stepping out of a comfort zone and taking time away from the ordinary and really focusing on extraordinary.

Many learn “culture shock” and have it not be as scary as it sounds. Languages are far easier to learn once a person is in a place where they can hear them every day.

Discovering that traveling may not be as hard as it looks and navigating alone can actually be pretty easy.

Studying abroad can also create lifelong friendships with people from all over the world and can force students to actually enjoy food and the simple things in life that most in the U.S. take for granted.

Studying abroad is more than just the costly penny and the headache of travel.

It is learning that going out of the country could possibly be the single scariest, most thrilling and life-changing thing that will ever happen in a person’s life.

College is about growing, and leaving the normal comfort zone. Studying abroad challenges this and the only way to meaningful life is lived on the learning edge.