College is the best time to study abroad and the University of Tampa provides numerous and varied programs that you should take advantage of. I myself studied abroad and would do it again in a heartbeat if time allowed. Here are some reasons why you should consider dedicating at least one summer or semester to study abroad.
1. Now is the time! Living in another country is totally different than simply going there on vacation. Residing abroad at our age is especially convenient because we don’t have to deal with getting a job, taking care of a family, etc. When you live in a different country as a student you are not a permanent resident, and yet you get to live there for a significant amount of time. Also, when you study abroad you don’t have a tremendous amount of school work because most programs keep in mind that you are not only there to study but also to learn about the culture and have a good time!
2. UT offers every kind of option for students. From Italy to South Africa and from Japan to Argentina (which I strongly recommend!), at UT you will find the right program for you. Not only will you be able to study in countries round the world but there is also a place to go for every major! Stop by the study abroad office and Kathy Ward will help you find the perfect match for you.
3. Money. A number of students decide not to study abroad because they have the misconception that it will be too expensive. But don’t be too quick to judge! UT offers four programs (Mexico, Holland, London, and Spain) that will cost you the same as a semester at UT. And here’s the best part- you can use your financial aid money to pay for your study abroad if it is a tuition exchange program! There are also a number of scholarships and loans that you can apply for. Finally, most programs cost the same or less than a semester at UT, so money should not be an issue.
4. Money! Traveling as a student is much cheaper than traveling without a student ID. As a student you can stay at hostels and get a number of discounts at museums, restaurants, when purchasing train tickets, etc.
5. Once you are there, you can travel even more! This especially applies to students going to Europe. Once you make it there, it is unbelievably cheap to get around. Airlines such as Ryanair, EasyJet, Vueling, etc., offer deals for as cheap as $40 dollars from country to country! I myself went from London to Barcelona for 50 bucks! Take advantage of this and travel around Europe on the weekends.
6. Meet great people. Not only will you meet people from your host country, but you will also meet people from around the world, including fellow Americans. I can assure you that you will make great friends when studying abroad. Plus, when you have friends all over the world you will have a place to stay when you go visit them.
7. Learn about yourself. Being away will be challenging at times, I’m not going to lie! But you will learn from the bad times as much (or more) than you will from the good times. You will become a stronger and more independent person once you have lived in another country.
8. Learn about your own country. This is a strange but truthful fact. When you are in a different country you find out things about your own country that you probably never thought about! Some of these things will be good and others not so good, but both will be equally valuable.
9. Learn about your host country. Living in another country will expose you to their citizens, language, and culture, and you will learn to appreciate the differences and similarities.
10. Studying abroad will change your life. You have probably heard people say that traveling opens your mind, and it certainly does. Once you come back you will see the world with different eyes. You might want to move abroad or decide you never want to leave your country again, which is the least likely. Take advantage of this opportunity offered at UT and I guarantee you will have no regrets.