I am currently a little over a month into my semester studying abroad in Wollongong, Australia. Life studying abroad in Australia is probably 10% marvelous adventures, and 90% just living life like an average Australian. That being said, I’m so glad to have the opportunity to take part in everyday life here because, though the trips are so much fun, they don’t always reflect what it’s truly like to live as an Australia does. As much as studying abroad is about going on adventures, I could accomplish that through a vacation here. The part that makes it a true cultural immersion and a full study abroad experience, for me, is getting to experience the daily life of a place. So while that may not be as exciting, my daily experiences, and what I’m learning about the world are just as important! Furthermore, during my time abroad, everything isn’t always fun and carefree.
When you spend months in a new place, you’re still going to go through the same ups and downs that you go through at home, but often they’ll be even more extreme. Everything becomes heightened when you’re outside of your comfort zone, including your emotions. However, it is exactly because of those extremes in emotions, and the added layer of being far from your sources of comfort, that you become more self reliant and get to know yourself better. So, for anyone considering studying abroad, if you want to see all the sights of a place and have a trip that’s purely fun, just go on vacation there. But, if you want to get to know a country’s people, experience their culture, discover new ways of learning, learn about yourself, and challenge yourself to constantly grow and adapt, then I highly recommend you study abroad!