Students should carefully consider studying abroad


Kernel Opinion SIG

Kelsie Kennedy

Although study abroad is a popular goal and recommended experience in college, students must fully assess if they are mentally healthy enough to take on this added stress.

UK offers such a wide variety of study abroad programs that it seems ridiculous for a student to say they have not had the opportunity to study abroad.  Programs range from just a couple weeks to a full academic year, all advertised online, at study abroad fairs and even in classrooms.

There are a few issues that can get in the way of a student studying abroad, however. The most common one is money.  Plane tickets alone can cost thousands of dollars. There are grants in place to offer aid, but they do not cover the small expenses. Regardless, a student will be out a substantial amount of money because of food and traveling expenses.  Perhaps the student needs to purchase clothing better suited for that country’s environment. These are all variables a student has to consider when already charged thousands to attend school at the college.

Other issues may get in the way. A college student’s life is hectic already, let alone organizing time to get a passport, do research on the country or countries, apply for scholarships and make sure credits will transfer.

A student has to consider if they are mentally prepared to live away from friends and family in a country that may contain drastically different languages or customs.

The potential problems of studying abroad seem to be rarely examined when faced with the excitement of visiting a new country or countries. While studying abroad may not be for some people, it is definitely not for all.

“When studying abroad, every moment is a learning experience, not just about the culture or the language, but about yourself and your place in the world,” said UK sophomore Sloan Lansdale.

This is the experience for some, which makes it worth the sacrifice.

If it makes sense for you, in this time of your life, take the opportunity and study abroad. If it is more stress than it is worth, stop beating yourself up over declining to go, and make the most of the campus you already have.