The obvious answer is you should go abroad for as long as possible! Everyone wants to travel abroad, that’s a no brainer, but obviously you clicked this blog post because you are trying decide between one or six months.
A one month internship or study abroad program is usually a faculty-led program by your school, volunteering or teaching English. All of those choices are very good options and one should consider those if you have the time and money. However, you are really limiting yourself to learning about the culture and living like a local by only going for one month. You might have a week or two of language courses, depending on where you go and your program, and that leaves you two weeks to really be immersed in the culture. To me, a one month program is like a sample at Costco. You get a taste of it and you leave wanting more.
If you were to consider taking a one month program, you should do it as a way to earn college credit. A faculty-led program is expensive but you do get to earn that credit abroad, which is always a nice thing to experience. Plus your course will be taught in English! So you don’t have to worry too much about being completely lost in the textbooks.
A six month internship or study abroad program is something I would highly recommend and encourage people to take. Six months is a long time in a country you’ve never lived in and – to me – that is so exciting! You have that adjustment period of about a month (it’s different for everyone) and after that you have five months to really just live like a local and be completely immersed in the food, culture, traditions and festivals! In six months, you will be knowledgeable about the city and country you are living in. It’s a no brainer you’ll adapt to your surroundings but it’s the most rewarding when you get to say you’ve experienced life abroad for six months.
People will be in awe and will ask you tons of questions about your time abroad. If you’re there for a month you’ll leave saying, “I wish I stayed longer,” or “I wish I picked a six month internship instead.” Do you want to sound like that? I know I wouldn’t.
I was featured in a video with Alexandria, Adelante’s digital marketing specialist, discussing why you should take an internship for more than three months. There is some useful information in that video and reiterates some of the points made in this post. Take a look and see why it’s important to take an internship or a study abroad program for more than three months.
Regardless, the decision to go abroad is a huge one! You should congratulate yourself for just wanting to study or intern abroad. Do what makes you comfortable. If going for a month is your thing, then by all means sign up for a month! But if you’re looking to really experience life abroad, a six month program would be best.
About Our Contributor:
Drew is Adelante HQ’s Social Media & Marketing intern for Fall 2017 and is currently a Public Relations major at Cal State Long Beach. He has participated in a youth exchange program in Dakar, Senegal and an international basketball tournament in Japan. One of his many traveling goals is to step foot on every continent on this big blue planet, and yes, even Antarctica.