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The Forest Scout

The Student News Site of Lake Forest High School

The Forest Scout

The Student News Site of Lake Forest High School

The Forest Scout

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Why You Should Consider Studying Abroad

Why+You+Should+Consider+Studying+Abroad

Many students explore the possibility of studying abroad to enhance their colligate experience. Prior to COVID-19, there was a steady increase in the number of students studying abroad, with approximately 347,000 US college students studying overseas during the 2018-2019 school year.

Studying abroad allows students to have an immersive experience in a foreign culture while still ensuring that they meet educational coursework requirements. When choosing whether or not to study abroad here are some things to consider.

Most Popular Locations:

Italy 

Lake Como, Italy. Courtesy of PxHere.

Italy has been ranked one of the top study-abroad locations for decades. In the 2021-2022 school year, it was the most popular study-abroad destination for American students. It has become a popular destination due to its extensive religious and cultural history dating back to the Roman Empire. Italy is also internationally renowned for its food and fashion. Another appeal is its varying geography spanning from Sicily in the Mediterranean Sea to the Tuscan wine country and the idyllic shoreline of Lake Como nestled among the Italian Alps in the northern region.

Greece

Courtesy of Flickr images.

Greece also has a rich ancient cultural history and is often referred to as the cradle of Western civilization. It is home to some of the greatest works of literature, philosophy, and art. Its Mediterranean cuisine is considered one of the healthiest in the world. Greece is also unique in that it is a peninsular country that includes several thousand islands scattered within the confines of the Mediterranean, Aegean, and  Ionian seas. In addition to its ancient ruins, Greece is known for its beautiful beaches and hillside towns.

Costa Rica

Courtesy of Flickr images.

Costa Rica offers a more exotic location for a study-abroad experience, as it features jungles, rainforests, beaches, wildlife, and cuisine that is vastly different from that of North America and Europe.

Ireland

Courtesy of Flickr images.

Ireland provides a lush green landscape with historic architectural sites including Trinity College as well as numerous castles, and churches. Ireland is known for its distinct culture characterized by bagpipes and Irish dancing.

Japan

Courtesy of rawpixel.com.

Japan is a beautiful, dynamic country that offers vibrant cities like Tokyo and also rural landscapes featuring cherry blossoms and ancient temples. In addition, Japan still has royalty and centuries-old traditions. They are an island nation with a distinct culture and are seen as an international economic hub. 

Semester at Sea

Courtesy of Wikipedia commons.

In addition to visiting countries, some colleges provide a semester-at-sea option, which entails a semester-long cruise wherein students can explore the seas stopping at approximately ten countries. While this option is certainly not for everyone, it may be ideal for students majoring in or curious about marine science.

 

Safety:

Safety is always a consideration while traveling, especially when visiting an area that you are unfamiliar with. It is very important to familiarize yourself with the area you’re going to be staying in and the transportation systems you are going to be using before you arrive. When walking around, especially in the evening, it is always better to be with other people. Theft can be a problem for foreigners studying abroad, as pickpocketing is common in many countries, so it is essential to keep belongings secure and safe. Additionally, it is important to learn the local emergency phone numbers.

 

Why Study Abroad?

Studying abroad provides an opportunity to immerse oneself in a culture & language of their choice. Most study abroad locations are easily accessible for travel to and from and they are usually close to major transportation hubs so that you can visit other nearby destinations as part of your study abroad experience. It is also a great way to take advantage of travel opportunities that may not be possible if you plan on working right after college or attending grad school which would limit your travel opportunities. 

Gaining exposure to foreign cultures provides a deeper level of understanding of people, and provides a broader perspective of the international community, and a greater awareness of global concerns.

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About the Contributor
Caroline Gerber, Editor-in-Chief
Caroline is very excited to start her second year contributing to The Forest Scout, now as Editor-in-chief! A senior at LFHS, Caroline runs for the girl's track team and is an officer on the debate team. Outside of school, when she’s not with friends and family, Caroline enjoys watching action shows, playing guitar, listening to music, and walking her dog, Jasper.
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    Madame GoodmanFeb 9, 2024 at 10:42 am

    Great article! What started as one of the scariest decisions I had made at 20 years old, study abroad turned out to be one of the greatest experiences of my life! So many memories and opportunities! Everyone should do it!!!

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