10 Amazing Things You Get To Do When You Study Abroad

Posted by Natalie Murphy on December 3, 2014

While less than 10 percent of U.S. college students study abroad over their four years at undergrad, about 20 percent of Binghamton University students make the choice to live and learn in a foreign country -- and we've got photos captured around the world by our students to prove it! Whether you want to perfect your Spanish in Barcelona or snorkel in the Great Barrier Reef, Binghamton and its SUNY network of study-abroad programs span across the globe – literally – even in Antarctica.

1. Experience another culture

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It’s more than just differences in customs, language and food. Students who experience foreign cultures firsthand develop a deeper understanding of different perceptions, lifestyles and beliefs.

2. Gain a new perspective

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Bird’s-eye view of Interlaken, Switzerland, anyone? If you’re not big on heights, you don’t have to paraglide to get a fresh perspective on the world while abroad.

3. Embrace anonymity

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If you go abroad without knowing anyone at your destination, you will be able to immerse yourself in your new surroundings without any baggage from home. Ah, serenity.

4. Meet people from around the world

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Study abroad friends can enrich your understanding of other walks of life and turn into lasting travel companions. Or, you may just increase your chances of having a place to crash on your next international journey.

5. Step out of your comfort zone

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You will come across opportunities you would have never considered at home. However, you’ll learn abroad that taking risks is what helps you grow.

6. Travel, travel, travel

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Warning: Studying abroad will cause wanderlust, or a strong desire to travel. Take advantage of weekends and academic breaks to explore your new surroundings. A camel is not a recommended mode of transportation, though.

7. Take advantage of being young

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Your energy and flexibility will allow you to maximize your travels on a student budget. Did you know the going rate for crocodile petting in Ghana is approximately 30 cents?

8. Strengthen and diversify your resume

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We are becoming an increasingly globalized world seeking culturally competent citizens. Studying abroad signifies that you’re willing to embrace change and cope with diverse challenges.

9. Break out of your academic routine

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You can immerse yourself in a foreign academic system, explore classes outside of your major or master your language skills. Sorry, but the view from Peru’s Machu Picchu trumps Appalachian Dining Hall’s any day.

10. Boost your independence

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Before studying abroad, you probably couldn’t imagine sleeping in a hostel with twelve strangers or getting across Florence without Google Maps. Because you can’t pack all of the resources you rely on at home, you’ll become more self-reliant.