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Why Studying Abroad Will Change Your Life

Updated: 1 day ago

This past summer, I had the opportunity to study abroad through the Georgia Tech Lorraine program. It was a 12-week program based in Metz, France: I did classes during the week and would travel on weekends. I was able to travel all over Europe, visiting many countries, having new experiences, and simply learning how to travel. It was an amazing experience as it allowed me to grow personally and professionally. As promised, here are my thoughts and takeaways on the overall experience.

Santorini, Greece

Gain world perspective

Through traveling around Europe, I was able to meet so many new and different people. I had many eye-opening conversations, as I stayed in hostels and met people from all around the world. One room I stayed in even had people from South America, the Middle East, and Asia! In meeting all of these people with various backgrounds, I gained new perspectives and was opened to new ideas, values, and beliefs. One person I met in Paris was on a sabbatical after 2 years of working for a large tech company; another was backpacking through Europe to learn more about himself. These experiences are not only beneficial for personal growth, but they also help one gain a more global perspective and understanding, characteristics applicable to the work environment as well.

Connecting with Others

French Open, Paris

In gaining these new experiences and being well-traveled, you are able to connect with more people. When you discover that someone else has traveled to or is from a place that you visited, you are instantly able to establish an early connection with them and relate to something personal and outside of the professional world. While recruiting and interviewing for internships, I was able to discuss the places I traveled as interviewers were consistently interested in not only my work experience but also my study abroad experience. In this way, I was able to easily separate myself as a candidate for these internships, as employers place an emphasis on unique things you are able to bring to the table. As mentioned earlier, studying abroad definitely falls into that category, and it allows you to relate and connect with more people in the workplace with your global perspective.

Be comfortable with being uncomfortable

Prague, Czech Republic

Studying abroad is one of the best ways to get out of your comfort zone and try new experiences that you might not have done otherwise. For example, going to the Catacombs in Paris with my friends is not something I would see myself normally doing. Learning how to travel, especially in unexpected situations like train and flight delays, led me to make sure I was always prepared for anything. Even if I wasn’t prepared, I learned how to think on my feet, like when I had to stay a night outside the Luxembourg train station as a result of multiple trains being delayed.


Studying abroad will expand your horizons, and you will come back knowing so much more about yourself and the world around you. Not only is it an amazing time socially, but it also gives you professional skills and stories to be used in interviews, internships, and even future full-time jobs. In short, if you have the opportunity, definitely take it to study abroad!

  • Matthew Pinto

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