Is Studying Abroad Worth the Hype?

In Features, Latest News by Brooke Mora

Whether you are a student who is currently traveling or planning a trip for the future, there seems to be an undeniable buzz that comes with education abroad. Research from the Open Doors Report on US International Educational Exchange states 325,339 U.S. students studied abroad for academic credit in 2015/16—an increase of 3.8% over the previous year. As these numbers keep growing, the Office of Global Studies at PLNU continues to provide students with programs to over 50 countries, from every continent on the map.

As the fall ’18 semester is quickly coming to an end, PLNU is preparing these students for their spring ‘19 semester away and welcoming back those who have traveled the globe over the past few months.

After living in a foreign place for months at a time, PLNU students expressed the perks and struggles that come with being an international student.

“I have experienced my highest highs and absolute lowest lows here,” said PLNU junior and education major, Bailey Steinhart. While finishing up her fall semester abroad at Richmond, The American National University in London, UK, Steinhart’s new, independent lifestyle has helped her grow in every way.

Steinhart expressed that her university is more challenging than the academics at PLNU, but her downtime—filled with traveling—has shown her glimpses into the cultures, people and places she has only seen on screen.

She says, “For my break, I traveled to three different countries in one week.” No, that wasn’t a typo. Steinhart, along with a few close friends, took a week-long trip visiting Austria, Hungary, and Croatia—saying it was one of the most eye-opening, incredible experiences of her abroad term.

Although many PLNU students choose to travel abroad in Europe and beyond, PLNU offers several US programs for students to choose from as well.

Jenna Miller, PLNU junior and journalism major, expected her semester in New York City, New York at The King’s College to turn out completely different than what she imagined for herself. She says, “PLNU has prepared me leaps and bounds for my college experience here.”

Miller—coming from a quaint, Colorado home—expected to dislike the hectic lifestyle that city-living can bring.

“I really didn’t know how I would adjust to New York coming from places like Colorado and Point Loma,” said Miller. “I was way more prepared than I thought I would be.”

PLNU intends to prepare students for pre-departure by discussing topics ranging from faith in travel, intercultural communication, finances and safety precautions, but Steinhart feels that many representatives fail to explain their trips in one major way.

“Everyone always talks about how great it is, but no one talks about the feelings you get,” said Steinhart. “I have felt myself grow more as a citizen, student and human in the past few months than ever.”

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