Traveling is on almost everyone’s bucket lists. Whether it’s sightseeing in a new city, riding ATVs in the mountains, relaxing on a beach, or even experiencing life in a country much different than yours, these experiences are part of what can make life so great. I am extremely grateful and lucky to have had multiple opportunities to travel outside of the country thus far in life. Most notably, I recently studied abroad in Athens, Greece for four months.
If you’re a college student, I cannot recommend studying abroad enough. For one, when else in life will you have four months to just drop everything and live in another country? Outside of classes, you have an extremely small amount of responsibility, so take advantage of that! You may be thinking, “Yeah, but I am a college student. How am I supposed to afford studying abroad?”. Well, most colleges have partnership programs with universities abroad, which means that you will be paying the same tuition there as you would at college. And don’t forget about scholarships. There are plenty of scholarships available for students wanting to study abroad. I was lucky and got just over $11,000 in scholarships for my time in Greece. Lastly, if you plan things correctly, you should be able to easily find classes to transfer back, so you will still be able to graduate on time.
Invaluable Learning Experiences
Time in another country is a whole other type of education in itself. The things you learn and experience can change your life in so many invaluable ways. I have grown tremendously because of this experience. This is where I need to urge you, no matter where you go, to seek out experiences down the road less traveled. Relaxing on a beach somewhere is nice but experiencing a culture hands-on is where real growth happens. I have grown the most from the experiences that have put me way outside of my comfort zone.
Now, this doesn’t mean you have to do everything on that road less traveled to get the most out of your experience. Food can be pretty life-changing too and, let me tell you, Greece and Europe, in general, have some amazing food. Tzatziki? Gyros? Tiropitas? Moussaka? Now, it’s those things that changed my life… Every countries cuisine is so different too, so you will never run out of “life-changing experiences”.
With that, it is surprisingly easy and cheap to travel to other countries in Europe. I was able to cheaply fly to England, Switzerland, Hungary, Italy, and Spain all while studying abroad in Greece. In Greece, I was able to fly to many of the islands for a great price. For example, my round-trip flight to Santorini was around $30! Now, you get what you pay for. We were basically in a flying bus (that kind of smelled), but that was the least of my concerns.
Overall, I think gaining experiences abroad is one of the best things you can do for your life. What you learn and experience can and will change your life in so many different ways. Immersing yourself into another culture exposes you to new lifestyles, beliefs, and norms that change your perspective on life. Life is too short to not go out and explore the beautiful world we call home. Live for the now.
The Sound Mind Blog Series is intended for SigEp brothers to explore their own academic or intellectual interests while developing the minds of others. SigEp subscribes to the ancient Greek belief that the mind is central to humanity and thus the exercise of the mind is necessary for a balanced life. Developing a sound mind means living a lifestyle that allows you to expand your mind inside and outside of the classroom setting.
Meet the Author
JC Lange ’21
Real Estate & Finance Major