One of the first questions I was asked when I returned home from my study abroad travels was “describe your experience in three words”. I was taken aback; how could I possibly describe how much Prague meant to me with only three descriptors? It took me quite a few seconds, if not minutes to finally come up with an answer, the first eye-opening, the second life-changing, and finally edifying (three words clearly were too few, hence the hyphens, but I did my best).
It was immensely eye-opening to surround myself with so many different cultures, in so many different countries. I was lucky enough to travel through many countries in Europe and learned so much about different cultures by doing so. It was amazing to be able to hop onto a plane and enter a new country with a new culture, new language, and a new way of life.
Living in another country is life-changing. It teaches the pertinent life skill of adaptability. You will find yourself in new situations that you may not be sure how to handle but you will figure it out. You will have a new appreciation for diversity and learn things that sitting in a classroom cannot teach you. You will return home with a new perspective of yourself and your own culture. As the world becomes more globalized employers will appreciate your worldview outlook.
The historical element of education abroad was easily my favorite part. It is one thing to learn about past events, and completely another thing to see the sites where these momentous events actually occurred. It was hard to fathom entering buildings that are older than the United States itself. There is so much history in these countries; they give you an opportunity to learn something new each and every day.
If you are considering education abroad, or if you have the opportunity to, take it. I have not met anyone who has regretted the decision to immerse themselves in a new culture. There are not many times in your life where you will have the opportunity to get out of your comfort zone and experience so many new things. When I look back on my college experience I know that my semester in Prague will be what stands out most. I encourage you to experience a new country for yourself; you will not regret it.