I fell in love with the idea of 'studying and travelling' during my undergrad. The university I attended had in place an opportunity during your Junior Year to take a course and then spend two weeks in the country experiencing and getting to visit the country that you focused on.

This international experience was one of the reasons I picked the university I went to, and without a doubt, my visit to Switzerland (FREE OF CHARGE) inspired me to one day have the opportunity to live (or learn) abroad.

I had no idea that 4 years later I would be accepted to study for my PhD in Scotland, and now 3 years here I can genuinely say this will forever be one experience that I would recommend for everyone.

Here are my top reasons for considering studying abroad! No matter the time frame - 2 weeks, a semester, a year or three years - living and studying abroad is indeed a life-changing experience!

Studying & Travelling 

You're already in school, why not take the opportunity to study and travel. While a semester is the most common study abroad time frame - in Europe that gives you plenty of time to explore. There are cheap train tickets and even cheaper flights to some of the most amazing sites in the world. (My flight from Edinburgh to Rome cost under $50 Return)


I went to a small university about 2 hours away from home. I was dependent (no matter what anyone says) on the fact that I had my family and support system so close to me. Now 5 time zones away and one costly flight - I have been able to stand on my own and challenge what I can do without my family so close. 

Seeing the world

Again, I got the travel bug from Switzerland, so one key thing that makes studying abroad so amazing is the ability to see the world. I knew people from where I did my Masters that hadn't left the State (in fact never went more than an hour from where they grew up). I have been able to visit, see, and experience cities, festivals, and sites that I would have never thought of visiting before - all of this because I am studying abroad. 

For your CV

Believe it or not - showing that you did a study abroad can help when applying for jobs. Knowing that you were able to go out on your own, into a new culture, and a new country shows that you can adapt and face challenges! 

Breaking out of your comfort zone

I am a person of comfort, and I HATE going out as the 'new person' - I suck at making friends - and am even worse at just having a good time with new people around. That has slightly changed while being here (although I still need to work on this a bit more). When I first got here, I moved in with two girls that introduced me to their friend group, invited me to nights out and was there for anything I needed. Being ALONE in a new country forces you to get out and live, something I could avoid if I would have stayed in the US. 

Overall I would recommend that EVERYONE who has the opportunity to study abroad to do it! I have been able to explore and experience numerous countries and cultures during my time here, which is something that I probably couldn't have done without living abroad. 

Interested in studying abroad? Just do it. 

If you have studied abroad what were your favourite things that you took away from your time abroad?