1. Who should travel abroad?
Do you possess a high adventure-quotient? Would you rather eat insects on Survivor than watch islanders from your couch at home? A successful abroad experience partners the following prerequisites: curiosity and independence. So if you can’t stomach anything but white bread and peanut butter, or if you’ve never started the washer by yourself, you may want to choose a tamer travel experience such as visiting an unfamiliar location within your native country.
2. Why travel abroad?
You’ll bring home a lot more than souvenirs from a foreign exploit. Before you embark abroad you may want to evaluate your motivations. Why do you want to go abroad? Although an international trip isn’t a genie in a bottle, it can grant the following:
- Self-Confidence: Successfully navigating a subway in a foreign country is an accomplishment worthy of respect, especially your own. Many travelers report increased confidence in their own abilities following the completion of their trip.
- International Perspective: Galileo finally convinced the world that the earth revolves around the sun. Individuals who travel unlearn ethnocentrism and are better equipped to identify the United States’ role and relationship to other countries.
- Develop Foreign Language Skills: ¿Estudia español? Etudie le français? Although you don’t need to know a foreign language to go abroad (English, the language of business, is becoming more and more common as a second language), nothing will improve your command, and expose your ignorance, of a second language like being immersed in native speakers and culture.
- Career Edge: Individuals with a global perspective on their resume have a competitive advantage in the world marketplace.
- New Friends: Expose yourself to a whole country of new people. Form lifelong friendships with natives who may invite you to visit them again.
3. What should I do abroad?
You can get more out of international travel than photographs and trinkets. Many individuals step beyond sight seeing to study internationally and earn credits for graduation. Others work or intern for pay and/or experience. Some individuals even choose to volunteer for a worthy cause they believe in. Involving yourself in a program can help you step outside your US comfort zone, immerse yourself in a foreign culture, and get even more out of an international experience.
4. Where should I travel abroad?
Spin the globe and pick a spot because your options are wide open when considering locations. Your foreign language background may guide you to select a country where you’ll be able to communicate. You may also want to consider visiting a country where you can explore your personal heritage. Spanish speaking countries may be attractive options to Hispanics. Israel’s heritage draws many Jews. Instead of introducing yourself to a completely foreign culture you may choose to explore the roots of your own.
5. How do I travel abroad?
There are hundreds of resources available for individuals interested in going abroad. Websites exist to help you investigate programs, locate lodging, and plan your trip.
As you begin tallying expenses, don’t forget to include the cost of room and board, groceries, and local transportation. If you’re a student don’t miss out on student travel discounts.
Apply for your passport and or visa early if you need them. Pack light but don’t forget a journal and picture from home. And get ready for the experience of a life time.