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Five Reasons Why the Travel Minded Undergrad Should Take Their Studies Abroad

11/03/2013 15:09 GMT | Updated 08/05/2013 10:12 BST

1. Immersive Travel.

For a traveler the transitory lifestyle can take its toll, studying abroad however allows you to live fully within another culture for an extended time rather than merely passing through it. It is an experience so much different to that of filling a backpack with clothes, snacks and beer and bumming your way around Europe or Asia, visiting place after place and making fleeting relations with those you happen across. I'm not saying that that isn't fun, because it obviously is, but when you arrive home from such trips the inevitable feeling remains, 'I wish I could have stayed longer'. Studying abroad allows you to do just that. To explore a new city and everything that it has to offer is so much more rewarding than speeding through a three-week alcohol and tourism binge in shit stained pants whilst trying to not let the Australian travelers know that they are getting on your fucking nerves. But if that is your bag (baby), then who's to stop you doing that during your time abroad also. Two birds, one awesome and cultured stone.

2. Friends all over the world.

Whilst studying abroad I have made many friends, some in passing but many whom I know I will remain in close contact with. I know great for me right. These friends that I have gone and made not only happen to live in a place that I think is rather great but in a place that is also notoriously difficult to get visa's, and the like, to live here, and as someone who is definitely going to travel a whole lot more a selection of holiday homes is always a nice fall back. But also great for them, if they so chose the drizzly wonders of Huddersfield, or maybe London, await there sun soaked minds. It only seems fair.

3. Further Travel Opportunities.

Once you are all set up in your chosen location you have instantly opened up a whole new area to travel within. Having a home from home central to many new areas, cities and wildernesses is a dream, weekends and national holidays allow you to travel at visit thoroughly and flexibly which is definitely a blessing from the travel Gods (I assume it to be a polytheistic system as there is just too much good shit out there for one travel God to cover).

4. Progressive Studying.

My move abroad has allowed me to study courses in another, yet very different, wonderfully diverse department that has enabled me to explore new directions and new areas of academic life. It is easy to become stuck on an academic path chasing a career you once thought you would enjoy and the time spent studying abroad is a perfect opportunity to explore those new interests or those things that you have always had a slight passion for but never really got round to taking seriously, i.e. Blogging.

5. The Travel Bug.

Although you may have already been bitten by the travel bug by the end of your time abroad the bug will have inevitably made a home out of you, a few throw pillows here and there, 1 or 2 candles and an IKEA catalog in hand, or bug equivalent. Spending so much time in a place so far from home not only opens up to you the possibility of living and working abroad after you have graduated but it shows you a lifestyle that you never knew existed. It removes you from the microcosm of your childhood and allows you to see that what you used to believe was everything is in fact nothing. And at times, depending on where you are from, you can feel lucky enough to have been one of the few that won't remain in that shitty little bubble and die 8 km (roughly 5 miles) from where you were born.