Wanderlust: a strong desire for or impulse to wander or travel and explore the world. This word has been used by people in order to describe their inherent need to get out of the comforts of their homes and escape to a new world. For young people, it can be challenging due to school, lack of funds, and work.
However, more students are taking advantage of this time in their life and choosing to study abroad. According to BBC Travel, the number of students that study abroad has increased 12 percent every year since 1975, from .08 million to 3.7 million. There are many different programs and countries one can go to for the whole semester of just a summer session.
Junior McKenzie Riley studied in Quito, Ecuador last fall for the semester. She studied religion and Spanish through the Living and Learning program.
“My favorite part of studying abroad was my host family, I absolutely love them and keep in touch with them daily,” Riley said.
Not only did she create lifelong bonds, she was able to do some traveling while there. “The Galapagos Islands were phenomenal! It was amazing to see God’s beauty, especially with all the diverse animals and how the geography was vastly different in a matter of miles,” she said.
Junior David Crossland, studied in Costa Rica for a semester through CIS Abroad.
Crossland had this to say about his experience: “It was the best three months. It was hard to leave my friends and family but so worth now that I did it and I am able to have these memories for the rest of my life,” he said. “The knowledge [I] learned from it is priceless; every person should have the chance to do it in his or her lifetime.”
If you cannot see yourself being away from home that long or you simply want to acquire more credits, a summer program may be the best thing for you.
Vanguard offers VU Italia, a one-month program that travels through Italy and offers nine academic units.
“Something very unique about participating in VU Italia, as opposed to other study abroad programs, was the opportunity to travel and study with other Vanguard students and professors,” said senior Tiffany Pugh.
Senior Olivia Clark studied at the Oxford Summer Programme through Best Semester.
“Oxford’s cobblestone streets, steam hot tea, intimidating professors who bring out the best in me…and the beautifully haunting rainy grey skies will forever be ingrained in my heart and mind. Studying abroad has left an impact on me that changed me for the rest of my life, and I miss the place & the people every single day,” Clark said.
If this was not convincing enough, many companies like to see that you have done traveling so studying abroad may help in future job opportunities.
Go on, get out of here and see the world. You may not have the money right now but chances are you won’t have the time later.