Study Abroad Challenges: Opportunities for Growth

May 8, 2024
study abroad challenges

API would like to introduce you to Corrin Charlson, an API Ambassador at Concordia University Wisconsin. API Ambassadors are students who go on to share their stories upon their return from their API experiential learning programs abroad. Corrin shared the following insights from her journey in Maynooth, Ireland, describing the opportunities for growth when encountering the various study abroad challenges. 

While the allure of studying abroad often focuses on its highlights, it is sometimes the challenges or the things that don’t quite go as expected that afford the most opportunity for growth and learning. Study abroad challenges might include financial strain, homesickness from being separated from loved ones, or the difficulty in  adapting to a new environment. While these may initially seem daunting, challenges such as these often make for the most robust experiences!

study abroad challenges

Learn More About Financial Responsibility

Studying abroad requires financial investment, but looking back, I see it as an invaluable lesson in financial responsibility. Managing expenses in an unfamiliar setting fostered resourcefulness and sensible decision-making. Through careful planning and budget-friendly alternatives, I was able to mitigate costs and cultivate essential life skills that have stayed with me long after I returned from my experience abroad.

Make New Friends

Leaving behind the familiarity of home, friends, and family was uncomfortable at first, even experiencing feelings of homesickness. Despite being away from loved ones, studying abroad opened doors to new connections. I had the chance to make new friends and form bonds with my peers. We forged friendships through shared adventures and cultural immersion, creating a support system that lasted even after my journey ended.

study abroad challenges

Embrace Cultural Differences

Navigating daily life in a different country presents its own set of challenges. However, those study abroad challenges helped me foster resilience and adaptability. Stepping outside of my comfort zone gave me the chance to cultivate a sense of independence and resourcefulness. Embracing cultural differences instilled me with confidence, traits that have been valuable in an increasingly interconnected world.

Overall, what initially appeared as drawbacks of studying abroad served as catalysts for personal and professional growth. The financial responsibility I learned, the bonds I formed, and the cultural adaptability I gained are significant assets that extend far beyond my academics. By embracing the journey with an open mind and a positive attitude, I emerged with a broader worldview and a newfound sense of confidence!

It’s Your Turn to Go Abroad!

Corrin’s perspective shows the opportunity for growth and overcoming study abroad challenges. If her takeaways resonate with you, it may be time for your own international adventure. For more information about studying or interning abroad in locations across the globe, explore more on our website!


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