Candidate Esteban C. is a Healthcare Intern in Madrid, Spain. This isn’t his first, or second, time studying abroad or learning abroad. He has studied and interned abroad three other times before coming to Adelante Abroad. His time in Madrid has opened him up to new experiences and the LGBTQ culture in Spain.
Thinking About Studying Abroad
So, you’re debating whether or not to study abroad? Going away to a new location can be frightening for sure, but can also be incredibly rewarding. The chance to immerse yourself in a new place, in a new culture, meeting new people is something most don’t get to experience. Being abroad allows you to explore the world and discover things about yourself that you otherwise would not be able to. Despite this, there is a certain nervousness about going abroad. This can stem from living in an unfamiliar place, being out of the country for the first time, leaving behind family and friends, being lonely, or leaving a comfort zone. Yet, these exact fears are the reasons you should be going. Don’t you want to learn how to deal with these challenges?
Learning Outside of the Classroom
Studying abroad can allow you to experience things that you could not in a traditional classroom. Taking language classes are great, but realistically they teach you mostly technical information, such as how to read and write, but little emphasis is placed on the conversation. Going to a place where the language is not your own forces you to adapt and learn quickly. Immersion is widely known as the best way to learn anything, especially a new language. You can observe what natives say, how they say it, and thus adapt your vocabulary to be more genuine.
Academically, you can take classes from other professors with varied backgrounds, which allows you to have a unique perspective on the subject offered. Many courses have more hands-on activities which strengthen the material as well as exposes you to more environments that hone your skills. It may be easier, depending on your field, to work abroad than at home, which leads to valuable experience you can bring back. You meet people from all over the world, as well as natives wherever you go. Many of these friendships last for life! Being abroad allows you to travel to a new, exotic place, where you can explore by yourself or others.
Studying, Traveling & Discovering Yourself
Although daunting, there are tons of reasons to study abroad! You also don’t need to go for a long time, as programs can last from a month to multiple years. Many programs have financial aid, and there are plenty of grants to apply for if money is an issue. From taking marine ecology courses in Belize to working with LGBT rights in Spain, from researching sharks and rays in the Bahamas to studying urban ecology in Singapore, I have had the opportunity to see the world. I really believe that because of my own study abroad experiences, I have learned more about how the world works and been exposed to things that would be impossible to see in a traditional classroom. If you have the time or opportunity to go abroad, take advantage of it! It is definitely worth considering.
If you’re interested in Adelante Abroad’s Study Abroad Programs, check out our Seville Semester and Summer Study Abroad pages. Interested in expanding your resume? Scroll through our internship sectors, including Medical and LGBTQ, and see what we have to offer.