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June 5, 2010 / Brent Sears

Why Go Abroad

Add a study abroad experience to any major: history, education, foreign language, science, math, business, etc. and what do you have?  The answer is international experience.  What is that worth in the job market?  Well, it’s a lot better than being just a science major.  Add the right program in Costa Rica and you have international experience in jungle biology.  Add a blog to that and you have something worth sharing with all the other insect geeks in the bio world.  If that is your interest then those are the people you want to reach.  Okay, so you will use that post for professional reason, maybe not to get a date.  On the date you pull up the post about your jungle canopy tour on zip-lines.  At the end of the day you are simply more interesting than the person who stayed at home and took classroom-style classes.

But it may cost more!?!?!  The program and scenario I just wrote about in Costa Rica will cost you about $2,000 more than a semester on campus.  Take a year to plan and win a $1,000 scholarship and then it cuts the difference in half.  The other half can be made up through working, or selling things on Ebay you don’t need.

Most people use lack of money as an excuse to mask their fear.  I did for a long time with my decisions to study abroad.  It took me a long time to commit to doing it, but when I did there was no turning back.  Things came together because I focused everything I had on the adventure.  That investment led to a job later on.  The international experience will never hurt you professionally.  Not having it is another story…and a boring one!

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