Studying or interning abroad makes you better! A bold statement, I know. However, there is a seed of truth in there somewhere.
Of course, study abroad will not magically fix all your vices. We all have our moments of “glory.” The change I have in mind is not a drastic personality makeover. It’s more like a subtle realization and overcoming of specific issues that will change the way you treat life.
If you, until now, cruised through your life successfully avoiding all those tedious responsibilities, study abroad will be the destination of that cruise. In this case, your semester in another country works like the classic teaching method of pushing someone into the water and figuring how to swim on their own.
Even if your parents, teachers, and study abroad coordinators will help you organize everything, you are bound to come across more than one situation where you will be on your own.
Don’t freak out! It might be tough, but you are gonna deal with it. After all, is said and done, you will come out of it with a newly found sense of independence. It’s not that just because you can do your “adult chores,” you are a better person… there are a plenty of independent people with difficult attitudes. I am thinking more along the lines of how the realization that you, in fact, can take care of yourself changes you.
When you know, you can deal with things even if you never dealt with them before, the elements of fear and panic cease to control you. You become more relaxed and healthier person in pretty much every aspect of your life. The realization that you can accomplish things without depending on anybody is liberating and opens the door to many new possibilities.
2. Open Mind
If nothing in your environment made you open your eyes, I mean truly open them, to the world, study abroad will. There is no hiding from it. Whatever you thought you knew about what is normal, right, and given… won’t be anymore.
You will realize that every little thing in life can be done differently and that your way is not the only way. The best of all, you will most likely have to question your own culture and ask WHY do you do things the way you do.
Silly things like shopping, greeting people, cleaning, social situations, eating habits, formal and informal relationships, behaviour on a bus or train, views of justice and equality… everything can and is being done in hundreds of different ways.
I believe that this realization of the subjectiveness of your own culture makes us better people. It makes us question, if even for a moment, and stop blindly following what was served on a silver tray. You are likely to become much more tolerant, accepting, but also creative with your life. The creativity comes in handy in problem-solving in particular 😉.
3. New Perspective on Old Things
Study abroad is like hitting a refresh button on a website. It updates the everyday things in your life. The known and mundane becomes interesting again.
It’s simple really. What you thought was mundane is a whole new world for people from different countries. You will see everything including your environment, relationships, college, aspirations with fresh eyes.
If you fell into a comfortable routine bubble of existence, study abroad will pull you out. How does that make you better? Well, every person who is living not just surviving their life is a better person. Sometimes all we need to start living is hit a refresh button.
Plus, knowing that just because you have known something your whole life doesn’t make it given an indestructible will make you more appreciative and be grateful.
Combining all of the above will provide you with confidence. Study abroad is a good experience at helping you find the sweet spot of confidence, not arrogance!
While making you realize that you are indeed capable and stronger than you though, it also shows you how big and diverse the world is! That knowledge is humbling and keeps you in check. You grow in both confidence and respect. An independent person with an open mind who is grateful can go a long way in life. You will have the guts and a free mind to imagine your future without limits or rigid expectation and make it your own.
Living the life you want makes you a happier person. And a happier person is a better person, unquestionably!
Want to get the chance to learn about a new culture and live in the heart of a thriving European city? Study Abroad Apartments offers some great options for students planning to live abroad. Just get in touch with us if you need any help finding somewhere to stay and we’ll make sure you have one of the best options out there!