Studying abroad is increasingly popular, but people rarely discuss the dark side of leaving the comforts of your home country. Results of a recent survey show only 99.6% of students were happy with their study abroad experience. Why risk being a part of the .4% of people who don’t have the best experiences of their lives? We recommend staying home, it’s the only safe choice. Watch another season of Jersey Shore or America’s Next Top Model and try to avoid any opportunities for personal and professional growth. Sure, you may not remember another regular semester at home for the rest of your life, but is that really important?
Different Cultures are Scary
Culture Shock is a definite challenge, so why bother? Who really needs to explore ancient cities in Europe, the beaches of Asia or hike the coast of New Zealand? Is making new and interesting foreign friends really important? We recommend you stay in your comfortable bubble, with your friends and family. It’s the safe and easy choice, which means it’s the right choice. Life is long, and you will have many opportunities to be 21 again and study abroad. Why rush it?
The Food will be Strange
Eating food in a foreign country is an overwhelmingly delicious and different experience. Generic and processed American style fast food can be very difficult to find. Bland chain restaurants are less common in foreign countries and most eateries are owner operated. This makes your everyday dining experience unpredictable, which can be stressful. Tina Morrow shared her harrowing experience while on a study abroad program in Argentina, “I had to hike nearly a mile to find a McDonald’s in Buenos Aires! And they didn’t have a Burger King or Wendy’s in the entire city, let alone a Subway. I had to eat local food from friendly shop owners every day. It was awful.”
The World is Really Big
With so many countries in the world, choosing a destination is a very boring decision making process. It’s very unlikely that you will visit every country in the world, so why fight a losing battle? You will feel better about yourself by just staying home. Packing can also be a challenge, according to Claudia Witherspoon, “How can I fit my entire wardrobe into one suitcase? I need to take all my Abercrombie clothes and I’m not leaving without my shoes.” You will likely miss your family, but bringing Mom along is an exciting option with certain programs. You might even visit more than one country during your time abroad. This means you will have to spend time telling your stories to friends and family, which can be overwhelming. You might even have some great pictures to show people. Avoid all the above stress and just take a weekend trip to Great Adventure.
Foreign Languages are Confusing
Not everyone in the world speaks English, which can be frustrating. Sarah Venter recently shared her thoughts about studying abroad in Korea, “Life is really hard here and not everyone speaks American. Signs, menus and even subway maps are in Korean. Why didn’t anyone tell me this before my arrival?” Eloquently put Sarah, we couldn’t have said it better ourselves. Learning a new language is a unique experience. It can provide insight into both other cultures, and yourself and your own values. This is clearly a risky and unnecessary opportunity to learn and grow. You speak English, and so should the rest of the world. Why make time to learn a new language?
Post Graduation: Start Your Career Now
If you’re a recent graduate, we recommend starting a career as soon as possible. You only have 50 good working years ahead of you and it’s important to find a cubicle as soon as possible. Spending one year abroad at the age of 22 before starting your career could permanently damage your long-term prospects. Said Russell Teboe, age 22, “I can’t wait to arrive at my cubicle every morning. I have life changing moments at the water cooler nearly every day.”
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