Bungy Jumping is something I never thought I would do, same with dark water rafting and swimming with sharks. In my Sophmore year of college I decided I wanted to study abroad. I found a couple programs I liked, but one that stuck out to me was a Recreational Management study abroad to Australia, New Zealand, and Fiji over the summer. I immediately applied and a few weeks later was accepted. The Summer of 2010 my mom and I flew to LA spent a day touring the city and then she left to go back home and cried as I went off to meet 30 strangers who I would be traveling half way across the world with.
It was terrifying to not have met a single person before the trip and it was terrifying to go on my first big trip without my parents, but it was the best thing I did in college and I wish I would have gone on more. Here is why studying abroad is a must.
1. It gets you out of your comfort zone. I already loved traveling at this point, but had only ever gone with my parents who planned and paid for everything. This was the first time I had to do some planning on my own(but not too much) and the first time my expenses were completely up to me and with my own money. I met the people I was traveling with at the airport and had to put myself out there to get to know the group and ultimately make life long friends.
2. Traveling while in college is the best time to travel. After college comes a job and I failed to realize a job is year round. There is no two week winter break, three month summer break, and all those days off in between. It’s amazing how much time you lose when you get out of college. With a career and possibly a family it can get harder and harder to travel.
3. Studying Abroad is a once in a lifetime opportunity. Sure there are other opportunities similar, but when else can you travel with a big group of people with similar interests and at a similar place in life.
4. You get college credit for doing what you love. My study abroad was focused on recreational management. We were studying how to have fun…. we would go black water rafting and observe how the guides did their job, we would scuba dive and watch the dive masters, we went bungy jumping and paid attention to how the company did liability. I mean really…. I got college credit for going on an adventure of a life time.
5. The Price. I spent about 8 weeks traveling through the South Pacific. It cost me about $4,500 all said and done. That’s flights, food, lodging, activities. To go to Australia, Fiji, and New Zealand that’s not a bad price. It was definitely expensive for a college student but if you can make it happen it is worth it. You can even apply to be the group lead and get your trip paid for, for helping in the planning process.