I was just being a little nostalgic and thinking about my college days, specifically the semester I spent abroad in the Basque County of Spain. I have fond memories of the place I called home for six months. I took classes in the city of Bilbao and lived in the suburbs in a town called Getxo. Both amazing places with breathtaking landscapes, wonderful food, and fun people.
I know graduation is right around the corner for many college seniors. However if you're not graduating this year I suggest you consider spending a semester (or even a year) abroad.
I'll be the first to admit it was a stressful planning process, a bumpy transition, but well worth it and even harder to say goodbye in the end.
These are my personal experiences & reasons that will make you want to study abroad too:
- Improved my Spanish speaking skills
- Gained a new perspective by seeing how people live outside the United States
- Was able to see a whole new side of myself and I value the time I had to self-explore
- Had the opportunity to travel all around Europe
- Developed confidence in myself by taking risks and trying new things
Take a look at the video below to get a taste for the beautiful landscape and lifestyle I was once a part of in the Basque County of Spain. If this doesn't make you itch with the desire to travel, I don't know what will!
I won't sugar coat the fact I had little to no money when I came home, but I did work my butt off that summer as a waitress and built up my savings again. While abroad, I did have a small income tutoring English to children, but I used that money to help cover some travel expenses.
So if you're interested in studying abroad, start looking into it now! Get some more information from your study abroad office before the end of the semester. You can take the summer to crunch some numbers and look at different programs. And of course, you can start working and saving up for it too!
Just know that as a student, this might be the only time in your life where you'll be able to live abroad. Or travel abroad for an extended period of time. Many exchange programs cost the same as your home university, but with the added cost of food and living expenses.