Last week, the hashtag #StudyAbroadBecause was trending on Twitter. Now, in case you're new around these parts, it's probably important that you know that I had the most amazing study abroad experience. So it wasn't too hard for me to think of something to contribute to that conversation.

But another important thing to know about me is that I love words. Confining my answer to a single tweet is just not gonna fly, especially because I'm so aggressively pro-study abroad. And I've been meaning to make a list like this anyway, so this is a perfect excuse!

#StudyAbroadBecause it makes everything real. You may learn about the Holocaust in history classes, but walking through a concentration camp teaches you about it in an entirely new way.

#StudyAbroadBecause you need to learn that where you currently live isn't the center of the universe. I'm looking at you, Americans -- we may think we're a really big deal, and maybe we are, but people across the pond really don't care. In fact, being an American is often looked at as being a negative thing. We have a very inflated viewpoint of how America factors into things internationally, and there's nothing like transplanting yourself into a new country to take that down a few notches.

#StudyAbroadBecause if you want to live in another country, this is the best way to do it. Take it from someone who tried to stay abroad while no longer a student there; it's all but impossible. Unless you marry a foreigner or want to teach English, it's incredibly difficult to get a job or a visa or... anything, really. Go as a student.

#StudyAbroadBecause experiences > grades. I didn't learn this until I was living in London and was faced with the choice to study for finals or work a volunteer shift for London 2012 Ceremonies. Guys, London 2012 won every single time, and my life is a thousand times better for it. I think I may've gotten a B in one of my classes. Bummer?

#StudyAbroadBecause it makes "YOLO" relevant. Camp out for a movie premiere because this is your only chance to. Backpack through Europe because this is your only chance to. Take advantage of every second in your home city because when will you ever be living there again? GO DO EVERYTHING.

#StudyAbroadBecause even if it sucks, you benefit. Hate the location you chose? Hate the people in your program? Hate being broke? It might be rough in the moment, but in the long run? You become a stronger person, and it'll make you realize how much adversity you can handle.

#StudyAbroadBecause if it doesn't suck, there is literally nothing better. You'll make amazing friends and see places you've dreamed about visiting since you were 11 and dive head-first into your passions and become more independent and intelligent and open-minded. You may even pick up a tea habit (um, guilty).

#StudyAbroadBecause it'll change your life.

Travel Tuesday

post signature


  1. Your experiences will make even the most adamant stay-at-home'er want to study abroad! I wish I had...

  2. Yesss, I love this, Darci! Studying abroad was one of the most memorable life experiences I've ever had and I certainly wouldn't have taken the path I did today without it! After I came back I got so homesick for Germany that I signed on to study abroad AGAIN (only for one month this time on a short seminar program) for another incredible experience.
    You really just can't go wrong- I have no idea why everyone doesn't do it, especially when loans make it affordable for anyone. (in fact, it was actually cheaper to live in Berlin for a semester than it was to live in Seattle- no joke)

  3. Love this post so much, Darci! It does truly change your life when you study abroad! I was also tweeting when it was trending - and I had the hardest time restraining my answer to 140 characters! And you're right it truly is the easiest way of living abroad (at least for a short while)!