Study Abroad Information
>Why study abroad?
Studying abroad is the best way to learn a language. I learned more in the seven months I studied in Spain, than in the years I had studied Spanish in a classroom in the U.S. When I arrived I could barely understand the woman I lived with. Seven months later, she could speak at a normal pace and I could understand almost everything she said. The fluency you gain from studying abroad just can't be matched in the classroom.
When you study abroad, you are completely immersed in the language. From the time you wake up until the time you go to bed, you are exposed to the language. Don't be surprised if, after living in the country a few months, you even start dreaming in the language.
An additional benefit of studying abroad is travel. While you are in the country you can take weekend trips to see nearby sites. While living in a country, you often discover interesting places that tourists would not normally know about. Locals can tell you about such lesser-known sites.
There's nothing like the experience of living in another culture. It gives you a broader understanding of your place in the world and lets you see your own culture with different eyes. Often learning about the culture even helps explain differences in the language. For example, the word “compadre” (the relationship between the parents and godparents) doesn't exist in English. The more extensive vocabulary around the relationship of godparents explains the importance of that relationship in the latino culture.
Study abroad builds skills that employers view very positively. Study abroad experience looks great on your resume. Employers know that you can deal with challenges and you have a familiarity with another language and culture that is essential in the global marketplace.
Finally, you make friends from around the world. You'll make friends from the country in which you are studying but you also may meet students from around the world. My niece met and fell in love with a German student who was in her study abroad program in Argentina. Now she lives in Germany and is trilingual! Friendships with international students abroad can lead to other future travel experiences as you go and visit them in their countries.