Why You Should Study Abroad Early In Your College Career

Written by Drew October 21, 2015

Vatican City!

Vatican City!

Me at the Coliseum in Rome

Me at the Coliseum in Rome

Trevi Fountain in Rome

Trevi Fountain in Rome

The Roman coliseum at night

The Roman coliseum at night

Ruins of Pompeii

Ruins of Pompeii

The Pompeii museum - definitely a must-see

The Pompeii museum - definitely a must-see

First CIMBA gourmet dinner

First CIMBA gourmet dinner

Our table at our first gourmet dinner

Our table at our first gourmet dinner

Vatican City!
Me at the Coliseum in Rome
Trevi Fountain in Rome
The Roman coliseum at night
Ruins of Pompeii
The Pompeii museum - definitely a must-see
First CIMBA gourmet dinner
Our table at our first gourmet dinner

Is it completely off topic if I talk about the Chicago Cubs? Yeah? Yeah, I thought so. Whatever. I’ll keep it short and move on.

At the prime time of two o’clock a.m., I huddled up with two friends in a hostel in Pompeii to watch my Chicago Cubs in the National League Wildcard game.

And they won. The Cubs freakin’ won!

All right, anyway, back to the important part of this blog. As always, here’s an update on the happenings of my life abroad. 

This week has been crazy busy. We began the week with an expat panel where we learned about fellow Americans and their journey to working abroad. Following that evening, we attended a formal dinner where we learned correct etiquette for Italian and professional dining. 

After a shortened class week, our first travel weekend began. As previously mentioned, we began the travel weekend in Pompeii. Following our short stint in Pompeii, we explored Rome for three days. Both cities brought some amazing experiences, and I’m glad I spent time in both places. 

With all my excitement about the Cubs, I did not begin this post with a hook that ties in the theme. Therefore, I have no clever way to segue into the topic of this post.

So, well, you should highly consider studying abroad early in your college career. And here’s why.

The travel bug is real. Seriously. It’s real.

If you’ve read any of my previous blog posts, you know the story of why I wanted to study abroad. I wanted to go anywhere for an extended amount of time – it didn’t matter where I went.

My first study abroad destination was Spain for a winter program. 

My second study abroad destination was Italy for a semester program.

Apparently, I have caught the travel bug. However, I didn’t realize that notion until my Spain study abroad advisor invited me to lead a Q&A for a future study abroad group. Of course, I was forced to decline as I am in Italy.

In her reply email, she mentioned that I had caught the travel bug by studying in Italy after my stint in Spain.

I guess you’re right, Aubree. I did catch the travel bug. And you know what? I’m not looking back.

After catching the travel bug, I’ve been planning future trips in my head. Where will I go next? What will be the next adventure? Should I consider working abroad? Should I go travel before starting to work full-time? Hell, I have no idea where in the world I’m going to end up next. 

For the simple reason of catching the travel bug, you should highly consider studying abroad early in your college career.

The best part of studying abroad early in your college career is you get so many options after your first experience. Seriously, the options are endless. 

Summer terms. Winter terms. Semester terms. Year terms. Your options are abundant once you catch the travel bug. 

So, when should your first study abroad experience be? My best advice would be to study the first summer after your freshman year. Usually, students will go home and work their former high school jobs that summer – it’s a perfect time to avoid doing that and go abroad.

Following that summer, if you do catch the travel bug, you’ll have all those options to study abroad again. You can decide if any other terms will fit your needs with classes and destinations.

I’ll leave you with this simple message: Study abroad early in your college career. If you catch the travel bug, you’ll have a world of options for studying abroad in the future. Pun completely intended.

Oh yeah, and I’ll leave you with just one more message.

Go Cubs.