You've probably heard about the study abroad/exchange programs offered by your university. Most institutions offer them, and have partnerships with universities all over the world, so your options are wide open! If you're thinking about studying abroad but not sure what to expect, I hope this article will persuade you!

1. Discover a new city

There is no better feeling than getting the lay of the land in a new city, figuring out the best spots to eat and shop, and finding a new place to call home. Studying abroad will help you do this. Even if you just visit somewhere for one semester, you’ll be surprised how quickly you get used to living there. Trust me, you won’t want to leave!

2. Explore a new interest

Studying abroad will likely lead to you exploring a new interest. If you haven’t beforehand, you will likely come to adopt a “when in Rome…” mindset that will lead you to try new things. Whether this be surfing in California or hiking your heart out in New Zealand, the place you’re traveling in will likely persuade you to try something new.

3. Eat Delicious Food

Food is one of the best reasons to study abroad. Most countries have some sort of cuisine that is unique to them. Even if you discover that it’s not your favourite, it will be an experience in itself trying out the local delicacies. If you’re worried about the food, you can always choose to study abroad in a country with world-renowned food, like Italy!

4. Learn a new language

This won’t be the case for all students going abroad, but if you go to a country in which the native language is not your native language, you’ll likely pick up at least a little bit. Of course, many countries, such as Sweden or the Netherlands, have amazing English speakers, so you could likely get away without speaking Swedish or Dutch, but do your best to give it a try!

5. Create a new life for yourself

I’m not suggesting you’re unhappy with your current life, but leaving everything behind and moving to a different country for a few months or a year can really allow you to get some perspective. Traveling anywhere alone is going to make you more confident. You’ll quickly realize all that you’re capable of - including flying across the world, making new friends, and finding a place to live.

6. You’ll catch the travel bug

Most people that come back from an exchange program cannot wait for their next trip. You’ll likely do some traveling to neighbouring countries or cities while studying abroad, but this won’t satisfy you. Once you return home, you’ll already be planning where to go next, and how you can stretch your budget so you can stay there as long as possible. The travel bug really is contagious!