Studying Abroad, Is It for You?
Do you love culture, long to travel the world, want to further your education and learn through experiences? Then maybe studying abroad is for you!
Studying abroad can be a life changing decision full of new opportunities, friends and experiences. During this past summer, I spent a session studying abroad at the University of Costa Rica. While I was there, I studied Spanish in pursuit of becoming fluent. I thought becoming proficient in a new language would be one of the biggest things I would learn while there, but little did I know I would learn so much more. Rather than living in a residence hall I stayed with a host family. I was lucky to be placed with a wonderful host mother but the only catch was she did not speak any English. While this was terrifying at some times, in other ways it was perfect because it allowed me to be fully immersed in the language. When I wasn’t studying or conversing with my host family I had the opportunity to hike through the jungle, zip line, visit beaches and foster friendships with my roommates.
In my personal study abroad experience, I went through the Spanish Department at Colorado Mesa University, but there are other options at CMU where you can travel to many different countries for different lengths of time.
Tyler Daniels a Colorado Mesa University senior gave me insight on what it is like to not only study abroad, but to work closely with the CMU International Student Exchange Program (ISEP). Tyler spent a year in Nijmegen, the oldest city in the Netherlands, studying international business, and he assists Dr. Tim Hatten, Colorado Mesa’s ISEP Coordinator and Business professor, in preparing students who are planning on studying abroad.
Tyler knows there is a lot to consider before making the commitment to study abroad. He believes you should discuss options with your family and support system, evaluate the financials and thoughtfully consider the location. He also emphasizes the importance of having a mature mindset because you will encounter new and different people and cultures all while making decisions for yourself while in a foreign country.
Tyler believes studying abroad is one of the best experiences he could have had while attending college. It came with a few bumps in the road, but more than that it derived countless connections and learning experiences. In addition to learning more about international business, he also learned a lot about who he is as an individual and about the world around him. Tyler had traveled a little bit before he studied abroad, but while he was studying abroad in Europe he visited eight countries: Italy, Spain, Portugal, France, Belgium, Germany, Netherlands and Denmark.
Other than the incredible experiences you can have, one of the best things about Colorado Mesa University’s study abroad program is you pay CMU’s rates for tuition, housing and fees even though you are half way around the world. In addition, all of your existing financial aid and scholarships will still apply. For more information on ISEP visit http://coloradomesa.edu/isep/index.html.
Ultimately if you enjoy being submerged in culture, travel and new experiences studying abroad is for you!
"I thought that saying Study Abroad is 'life changing' was cliché until I experienced the hundreds of student lives that have been changed because of it." - Dr. Tim Hatten, International Student Exchange Program (ISEP) Coordinator.