Now that I am officially half way into my study abroad, it’s time for that cliché post you’ve all been waiting for. I know, I know, you’ve heard this a thousand times already. However, how could I participate in a semester abroad without trying to convince all of you to pursue one too? I understand the fitting a semester abroad into your already packed schedule can be tricky, but for those of you who have room, I urge you to pursue this option.
For those of you without this blessed wiggle room, never fear! At Calvin College, you can still get a great taste of far off places with Interim trips. Although they might seem expensive at first, Calvin offers plenty of scholarships. Also, realize that traveling will never be something 'affordable' during any part of your life. You need to create the space for it.
Although you may be a broke college student, you also are a fit young person who has no qualms staying in run-down youth hostels and eating McDonalds three times a day. Traveling will only become more expensive the more you age, given spouses, health conditions and the desire for comfort. For that reason, use your youth while you still have it.
Traveling and studying abroad is an incredibly valuable experience, both to you and to society as a whole. Despite what you may believe, traveling is not simply a selfish act for personal enjoyment. I wholeheartedly believe that traveling can transform people into more educated and sympathetic humans who better understand the diversity of this small Earth. My study abroad has given me more compassion for those around me and for the world as a whole.
With these thoughts in mind, I hope you take my advice to heart over the next five days and decide that a study abroad is not only a great idea, but a necessity for everyone striving to be a more compassionate citizen of this planet.