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Morgan McAulay

Ms. Grant
UWRT 1102
April 2, 2015

Studying Abroad
When looking at one person and then glancing at the next, right in front of your face you can
see that everyone is different. People share similar qualities both physically and emotionally
but our make-ups are all completely different. This concept fascinates me. Sometimes we as
people forget this notion of originality and with that comes stereotypes and discrimination.
American society tries to group young adults into categories, or set a quota for what the
sequence of events over an individuals lifetime on Earth should resemble. This type of
society tries to tell high school kids that once they graduate they should have a career path all
picked out. This concept is baffling, because as an eighteen year old adolescents are still
trying to figure themselves out. Telling a child to quickly choose what they want to become
without viewing and having awareness of the world around them is absurd. The only way for
an individual to become aware is to go out, learn, and experience. Understanding ones
culture and studying abroad can help mold ones mind and learn to go against what American
society automatically expects. Traveling abroad for learning purposes can result in a more
cultured individual and hold positive benefits in regards to ones national, mental, and
academic identity.

Being knowledgeable of ones own culture in relation to others is extremely beneficial


and results in a well-rounded person. In todays society technology is everywhere and some
could runs our lives. We have grown to have this dependence on connecting in this social
way. We are a generation immersed in social media, yet on these sites are we actually being
social? On a certain level we are indeed connected with people worldwide, which has
resulted in efficient global opportunities. Going out and traveling gives one an experience
liking a picture on Instagram photo simply cannot. Technology definitely has its benefits but
being culturally immersed in an environment makes the experience more fulfilling.
Studying abroad can be expensive and that does hold some restrictions for many
individuals. In college studying abroad should be available in a more affordable way and
seen as a requirement. By doing this individuals who attend college will get this experience
that will better them for future endeavors in the workforce of their choosing. The price of
studying abroad should be equivalent the individuals normal tuition fees. Overall the benefits
this experience holds will allow for individuals to advance the work force and create global
corporations.
Traveling abroad can expand ones worldview resulting in a better understanding of
there national identity. New experiences gained whilst studying abroad will present crosscultural benefits that academics could greatly improve from. Brown Universitys Office of
International Programs suggests, that study abroad provides the opportunity to reflect on
the awareness of the values and way of life of your own country, your own place in that
country, and its place in the world. (Dolby, 3) Going to another country and temporarily
living their lifestyle can make us aware of our own strengths and weaknesses as a country. If

the youth of America become more cultural accepting and knowledgeable this could result in
national equality and world peace.
Nadine Dolby conducted a survey pertaining to this topic with a group of college
students traveling from American to Australia. The point of the survey was to justify the
impression traveling can hold on a persons life. Comparing their mindset when they left
versus when they arrived home contributes to the idea that studying abroad does indeed
impact ones view and newfound respect for their own country. "As this research suggests,
study abroad is not simply a private good or individual experience. Instead, how students
understand America has implications for future practices of citizenship. Citizens with an
exclusionary, closed notion of the relationship between nation and state (Berlants infantile
citizenship) may seek to create one type of world, while citizens who have a more open,
inclusive, sense of citizenship may struggle to create another. Thus, the perspectives that
students bring back with them are part of public discourse in the United States and have
implications for the future of American democracy, the public good, and the constant
renegotiation of the material and imaginative space that is America." (Dolby 63) This
research goes to show the overlooked aspects traveling can hold. Many may believe it to just
be for the sake of vacationing but traveling and experiencing new environments can
unconsciously change our perception allows students to learn in a new setting.
Studying abroad holds not only academic benefits to put on a resume, but it also
allows for one to mentally become exposed to a diverse group of people. Traveling to
different places allows for new connections to be built and a stronger understanding of others
to develop. Being able to adapt to different places and understand the culture of others will
have a positive impact on the workforce. "Cultural immersion components in diversity
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courses provide an avenue for students to engage in cross-cultural learning process in which
they examine, question and expand their cultural assumptions, and develop an appreciation
for the differences and similarities in various cultures (Alvarez, 2001)" (Joako, 9) This
expresses the value studying abroad can have and how its importance in the future will
increase.
Global travel can create connections that will last a lifetime. Connections between
countries will improve our world and unify us as one. Expanded ones opportunities will
broaden creativity and cohesiveness through out the world.

Works Cited
McCabe, Scott, Thea Joldersma, and Chunxiao Li. "Understanding the Benefits of Social
Tourism: Linking Participation Subjective Well-Being and Quality of
Life." International Journal of Tourism Research.(2010) Print.
Jaoko, Japheth. "Study Abroad: Enhanced Learning Experience in Cultural
Diversity." College Quarterly. 2010. Print.
Dolby, Nadine. Encountering an American Self: Study Abroad and National Identity.
Illinois: Comparative Education Review, 2004. Print.