Have you ever considered studying abroad, learning a new language and making friends on the other side of the world?
There are lots of things to decide: the destination, the length of the program and the accommodation options. The number of university or high school students participating in an exchange program has risen sharply over the last decade. There are many convincing points to do such a program.
One is that you get international experiences at an early age. Your first time traveling is always a challenge, whether you are 15 or 35. So, why should you not master these skills early in life when you are more adaptable, open to new experiences and a bit more resilient? While you are never too old to try something new, if you start traveling young the experiences you make and the knowledge you gain will help to shape you in your adulthood.
One could say that many people would struggle with homesickness, which could ruin their program. In my opinion, this is completely normal, because you have never been confronted with the situation of being in a different country all by yourself. In addition your exchange wouldn’t make any sense if you would have no complications at all. There are always going to be rough times, but after these there are going to be good ones. That is what makes you stronger and more independent. Moreover, missing home isn’t always that bad. In some cases, you may start appreciating the little things at home more and being more thankful. Sometimes you may also question things you used to think or do in a certain way for your whole life, because you never knew that there was another way.
Another reason why you should become an exchange student is that you should make the most of opportunities that arise. You can not just lean back and wait for good things to happen to you if you want to have a fulfilling life. If studying abroad is important to you, seize any opportunity to do so, because you will never know what kinds of door it will open.
You may want to consider the financial costs, because studying abroad is not cheap. If it is not possible for you to finance such a program, apply for a scholarship. Some organizations offer to sponsor students, but there is only a specific amount of students they can support.
A convincing point for studying abroad is that many colleges and potential employers like to see a sense of initiative and an ability to think independently in their applicants. They also like to see life experiences beyond good grades. Studying abroad might help developing these things, and may set you apart from other applicants who never left their home state, let alone studied in a foreign country. Plus, you may discover a new passion while studying abroad, such as speaking a foreign language or attempting a new sport.
While considering to study abroad during high school requires asking yourself some hard questions. Overall, you will gain so much from the experience. Younger minds are impressionable, and if you fill them with interesting, challenging and surprising experiences, you will see the results for years to come. Long after the excitement or fear, the lessons you learned will live on in the way you see and interact with the world.