To go abroad or not to go abroad – API Blog

February 28, 2019
Leah Harris

Today’s blog post comes to us from Saint Anselm College student and API blogger Leah Harris! She’s studying abroad with us this semester in Florence, Italy. Because Florence is one of our most popular program locations, spots for fall are already filling up! We know the pre-departure process can be stressful. Students often wonder if it’s worth it to study abroad at all! If you need help with your application, give us a call at 800-844-4124 or email [email protected]. In addition, today Leah is sharing how she went through the process!

Leah Harris

I was feeling discouraged and overwhelmed by all the paperwork and deadlines, in addition to the everyday stress that already comes with being a college student.

I was considering not pursuing my dream of spending a semester abroad because I already had too much on my plate as it was. Why am I putting myself through even more stress?

I went to my advisors office one day on the verge of tears and ready to give up on my dreams. While I sat there and complained, she stopped me and said, “Well you know, nothing comes easy in this world. And sometimes you just have to work extra hard for the things you want.”

I kept that piece of advice in the back of my mind throughout the rest of the process leading up to my departure.

After this conversation I realized that this decision of mine was a true test of my character. What would it say about me if I gave up on a longtime dream of mine just because it was hard? Many times, I also wondered if this was the right decision for me. Did I really want to leave my beloved friends and family behind to travel halfway across the world for four months alone?

Santa Croce Image 1

Front of the Basilica of Santa Croce in Florence.

Whether you decide to study abroad or not is a decision that will change the course of your life forever. It’s not one to be taken lightly. It requires a lot of thought, planning and consideration.

I ultimately came to the decision that while it will be difficult to leave my life at home behind for a couple months, I will return with a newfound love and appreciation for the people that make it so hard to leave home. In addition, I thought the experience would leave me with a sense of global engagement, appreciation of new cultures, and gaining a skill set that will benefit my approach to future problems/jobs.

As for the paperwork, the months leading up to departure for study abroad are stressful – but soon they will be in the rear view mirror!

At the time it may seem endless, but I promise it will all get done. As I sit here now and type this blog post in my favorite cafè, with some of my favorite people, in my favorite new city… I can’t imagine how different my life would if I had given up on my dream. I would have missed out on this once in a lifetime opportunity. That’s something I likely would have regretted for the rest of my life.

So if you are debating whether to put your current self through this stress or looking for your sign to go for your dream- this is it. Your future self will thank you for the best experience of your life.

Go for it and don’t look back. You won’t regret it.



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