|About the Book|
Should you study abroad?You can talk to counselors, teachers, and administrators. You can read tons of brochures. But right here in this book you can get the firsthand account from several study abroad students who did it, and loved every minute ofMoreShould you study abroad?You can talk to counselors, teachers, and administrators. You can read tons of brochures. But right here in this book you can get the firsthand account from several study abroad students who did it, and loved every minute of it. Well, almost every minute. Our names are Connor and Sean. I (Connor) graduated with a B.S. degree in Psychology from Loyola University Chicago in 2010 and am now completing graduate studies in Chiropractic and Naturopathic medicine. I will be relaying to you my experiences in chapters one through nine. I (Sean) graduated with a B.B.A. in Finance and Marketing from Loyola University Chicago in 2010 and am now pursuing J.D. and M.B.A. degrees. I will be sharing my experiences in chapters ten through twelve.Ever since we started college, we had been debating with ourselves about whether or not we should study abroad. We didn’t talk about it much with friends or family because we were a little apprehensive about the whole idea at first. We were excited about living in a place so different from home because of the places we’d see, people we’d meet, and challenges we’d strive to overcome. However, making this decision was definitely not an easy one.Just like many of you, we were quite nervous just thinking about all the uncertainties that lay before us. We found ourselves thinking about all the reasons why we should NOT study abroad. We thought about missing our families and friends. We worried about all the planning, paperwork, and potential obstacles we would have to go through. We couldn’t help but think about risks involved, safety issues, language limitations, finding decent food, maintaining some level of comfort, and of course… paying for all of it. Additionally, we wondered if we would be able to graduate on time. Would the right courses be available? And would it all be worth it in the end? Back then we were searching for information that would settle our nerves, but we didn’t get many answers we were happy with.That’s when we decided to do our own investigation. We talked with dozens of former college students from different parts of the world, and asked them what they wished they had done differently throughout college. To our surprise, an astonishing 8 out of 10 graduates said they regretted not studying abroad! As we talked, it was apparent we shared all the same concerns- language, curriculum, personal safety and well-being. However we still had the opportunity in front of us, they did not.Connor: In the first chapter, I will discuss why my decision became clear to study abroad that spring. If you are interested in making the most of your time, I believe you will relate to my story. However I hope you will develop your own reasons, and begin to understand the potential rewards that await you. I was not always prepared for everything at the time, I was not able to gather all the information I could possibly need, and sometimes I paid for it. All in all, the months I spent studying overseas became the most fun, gratifying, and educational times I could ever have imagined. Making that choice to leave became a decision that has ultimately shaped my character for the better in so many ways, and I know it will do the same for you… if you do it right! I also believe you will continue to discover the full benefits of the whole experience, and the positive ways they’ve affected you for many years to come.