Why Study Abroad vs. Do an Internship: Thoughts Behind Deciding
Studying abroad is something many people consider in college. I remember when I was touring different colleges, many would highlight the study abroad experience and all of their programs for it. When I started at Georgia Tech, a piece of advice I constantly got was to make sure to study abroad during my time in college. In this blog, I want to highlight some of the main points I went through when I decided to study abroad, especially when thinking about doing an internship instead. I will also have a blog after my study abroad experience to follow up on what I wrote about, but for now I have my thoughts on deciding below.
Once in a Lifetime Opportunity
Besides college, when will one have the opportunity to be in another country for an extended amount of time with minimal responsibilities? You will be able to travel around with friends or make some along the journey. Seeing new countries, making memories of a lifetime, and seeing what this world really looks like can not only be a blast, but can also be valuable in the workplace.
Skills Gained Along the Way
In addition to being an amazing experience, you gain valuable skills that can translate to the workplace. By traveling around, you will be exposed to more cultures, types of people, and new environments. This all helps relate to others through understanding different styles of thought and developing different worldviews.
When Will You Have This Change Again?
There are many chances to do internships and work, but studying abroad is truly a once in a lifetime opportunity. Many people in college think they are too busy or need to constantly do internships, but in reality neither of those are true. You will only be more busy after college and studying abroad can even enhance your career opportunities by bringing something different to the table.
While it is great to do internships during college, taking a semester or period of time to study abroad is another way to enhance your college journey personally and professionally. Studying abroad is not for everyone, but it is something that is definitely worth thinking about especially in your first or second year. This way, you will still have plenty of time in college for internships and other aspirations.
To end I’d like to leave you with a quote from my good friend and mentor Connor Vizon (pictured in the cover photo) who has gone on multiple study abroad trips during his time at Georgia Tech. “Studying abroad is the best education. You get to experience cultures different than your own and meet people that you wouldn’t normally have a chance to talk to. You are also forced to grow out of your comfort zone, learning how to be self-sufficient and survive in unfamiliar territory if you don’t speak the local language. Finally, seeing different perspectives than your own helps you learn how people view and interact with the world around them.”
As I mentioned earlier, I’ll make sure to have a follow-up blog after my study abroad experience, and please leave any thoughts on this one in the comments below.