Students Should Study Abroad



Study Abroad programs allow students to immerse themselves in a new culture.

What does the United States severely lack? Education? Healthcare? Nope, none of these. We lack international experience. To gain what we so clearly lack, our impressionable youth, the ones who just got out of high school, who are being thrust into the unknown world, should experience all it has to offer. The solution: studying abroad.

Immersion. Even the word sounds harsh and frightening, however that’s what life’s all about after high school. Immersing yourself into unfamiliar situations, with new people, in different and exciting places. What better way to do it than to study abroad? Forcibly seize the opportunity. Foster global connections.

Studying abroad can be the first common experience many people have with moving far away from home. It’s purely temporary and will disproportionately benefit you in the long run.

Study Abroad typically ranges from one academic semester to a full year spent in a different county. Some people actually welcome the change of pace and the distinct lack of dependency.

College in Ireland. I recently interviewed a prospective freshman at National University of Ireland, Galway (NUIG), Brigid Lynch, a former SWR student.

Although her plan to commit to four years of college there does deviate from the typical study abroad experience, she informed me how the change benefited her thus far.

“I wanted to stay there so I could be with my best friend in a beautiful place with a lot of culture,” said Lynch.

As an American graduate, studying abroad provides an elevated learning experience. Certain skills such as cultural awareness, self-awareness, and problem solving with a sense of responsibility to make change happen come with the Study Abroad experience.

The SUNY Advantage. Living in New York, we are fortunate to have the benefit of our SUNY campuses. Offering numerous opportunities for learning all over the world.

In any academic field, in any program, short term, long term, near or far, SUNY schools generously provide hundreds of study abroad opportunities.

According to, “The State University of New York currently offers over 1,000 overseas study programs in more than 60 countries and all 7 continents. Programs range from 2-3 week intensive courses to a semester or academic year abroad. Courses are available in over 100 subjects.”

Truthfully these programs will not be cost efficient for everyone, no matter how inclusive it is. The cost varies based on the type of program one chooses. A cost of $18,000 is the overwhelming amount the International Institute of Education estimated to represent the average cost of studying abroad per semester.

Where there’s a will, there’s a way. Thousands of dollars worth of scholarships to aid students in these programs go unclaimed every year due to unfortunate lack of student effort and simple unawareness.

One of the more established organizations that provide these scholarships is known as Fund of Education Abroad (FEA).

According to their official website, their personal mission is to “provide scholarships and ongoing support to students who are underrepresented among the U.S. study abroad population. FEA makes life-changing, international experiences accessible to all by supporting students of color, community college, and first-generation college students before, during, and after they participate in education abroad programs.”

The Covid Issue. Currently, the main issue with studying abroad is due to Covid-19. Lynch said that due to the virus, her classes have been virtual, unlike in the United States. She has no regrets, though she would naturally prefer a normal (in-person) education experience just like the rest of us.