Travel is something that transforms so many people’s lives. They get a taste of the travel bug and suddenly stalk airline websites, google hacks for scoring the best deals and have lists of cities and countries to visit a mile long. But the next step up from taking a week vacation with your best friends is immersing yourself in local culture through a study abroad or immersion program. If you’re a student who hasn’t had the chance to travel much, someone who’s bored with your current life plan or just wants to experience the world in a completely new way, going abroad is for you. Even if you don’t see yourself reflected in the brochures or you think it’s not in your budget, here are some reasons why you shouldn’t write it off completely.

1. You don’t know what to do next.

If you feel a bit lost and can’t decide what next step is best for you, going abroad can help you focus in and solidify those next steps.

2. You’re looking to intern somewhere that will set you apart.

International internship programs will give you a global edge.

3. You’re having trouble making that new language you’re learning stick.

Being immersed in the native culture will force you to see language in a new light, and the experience is likely to help you retain that language much quicker.

Photo: Courtesy of Diversity Global

4. You’re looking for some self-improvement and to find yourself.

Better yourself to help in other areas of your life through some programs made to help you build life skills.

5. You aren’t swimming in money.

There are scholarships and grants to help you afford trips, so even if you don’t have a huge savings account, you can get the experience of living abroad.

6. You don’t want to be just another tourist.

Visiting a country through an official program allows you to live there for an extended period of time, giving you a more genuine experience.

Photo: Courtesy of Diversity Global

7. You’ve thought about it.

If living abroad has crossed your mind, you’ll regret NOT doing it. Follow your gut.

8. You don’t want to go to more common “study abroad” cities such as London or Paris.

Although those might be popular and wonderful experiences in their own right, there are programs that will take you everywhere from Ecuador to Brazil to Cuba to South Africa if you’re looking for something different.

Photo: Courtesy of Diversity Global

9. You’ve never left the country.

What better way to conquer international travel?

10. You’re looking to expand your friend group.

Moving to another country with someone will bond you in an incomparable way.

11. You want to learn more about your heritage.

If you can get into a program where some of your ancestors are from, you’ll have an unforgettable opportunity to explore your heritage.

12. Get better at ‘adulting.’

While overseas, you’ll have to learn how to care for yourself and balance your own budget. If you tend to rely on your parents or your roommates, get a quick lesson on independence through your experience abroad.

13. You’re feeling lost.

Often a chance to step outside of your comfort zone can help you explore what you love, what you don’t, and what you ultimately want to focus on. Comfort doesn’t lead to self-discovery in the same way as leaving your comfort zone — so go for it!

Cape Town, South Africa
Photo: Courtesy of Diversity Global

So, are you convinced yet? Apply today!

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