Duke It Out: Study Abroad

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study abroad intro

[It's pretty obvious that the average CollegeCandy reader has some very strong opinions. Opinions that she likes to share with everyone on the site. We love a strong woman, so we thought we'd give her a real forum to discuss her thoughts, feelings, and perspectives. Every Friday I'll be featuring a hot topic (like the ever controversial jeggings!) and leaving it up to you, the readers, to duke it out. So, read it and get your debate on in the comments section below!]

The time has come once again to start picking classes for spring semester (really? didn’t we just do this?) and my mind turns to places that won’t be covered in grey slush¬†come January. Places with warm, sunny vistas and boys with sexy accents. In other words, places abroad.

The appeal, of course, of study abroad is distinctly held in the¬†“abroad” part. It’s a chance to go off and live somewhere exotic, and yet, have the safety net of a very specific purpose and time period (not to mention a built-in group of people who speak your language). With study abroad, you get the chance to soak up a new culture and really be a part of it, instead of the way you rush through on vacations. Plus, you can go to a place you’d never really be able to afford to live in and because of the school, you can make it work.

And even putting aside the sights, the food, and the boys with sexy accents, there is one other major perk of study abroad. Just like when you first moved off to college, you get a new start, a chance to reinvent yourself with people who probably didn’t see that time you made the walk of shame with your underwear hanging out of your purse.

But even things involving boys with sexy accents (did I mention that already?) have their downsides, and it’s true for study abroad too. Going off to another country is a much bigger move than most of us make for college, and it’s not just leaving behind those weekend trips home (and the way your mom lovingly folds your laundry when you visit) or all the memories your friends back on campus are making together. Without you. Just like moving to college the first time, you’ll be starting over, having to make new friends in a strange new place and this time you might not even speak the language. If you had freshman depression, this might not be a road you want to travel. And there is also an expense involved in doing some study abroad programs. Though most schools do their best to make it viable for all students, if you’re trying to put yourself through school, it just might be out of reach.

What do you think, ladies? Would you want to try your hand at school in a foreign country? Have you? Or do you think that going abroad might be a little more than you’re looking for from college? Duke. It. Out.

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