Studying Abroad: What are you waiting for?

With upcoming trips to Germany, Czech Republic, Canada, and Ecuador, Saint Leo students can literally go to the corners of the world. Different kinds of trips range in length and purpose, from week-long SERVE trips to longer educational tours. Saint Leo also has programs in or close partnerships with countries where students can study abroad. Greece, Tanzania, Thailand, Brazil and New Zealand are just a few of the hundreds of places students can explore and learn about.

“It can change your life, and it can open your eyes to a different world. I studied abroad as a sophomore and it changed my life more than anything else. I realized the world was not this small place I grew up in,” said Professor Randall Woodard.

Studying abroad gives students the chance to explore, take advantage of opportunities, and experience the world like never before. Students are sent off to be fully immersed into a foreign culture that can teach them everything from their place in the world to the meaning of life.

Studying abroad can also teach students things like a different language or another country’s uniqueness, and provides opportunities to learn about oneself in ways unimaginable. For those who have traveled to different countries, the experience has provided many insights and lessons both big and small.

“I love it here at Saint Leo, and I would recommend studying abroad to anyone. It really helps you grow as a person. It’s definitely helped me gain a lot of confidence and taught me to take advantage of every opportunity you get,” said Janet Small, a Saint Leo student from Ireland.

Many students would love to go, but they think they are faced with obstacles such as money, time, and eligibility. However, studying abroad is always affordable with help. Students often believe it is best to wait till senior year to study abroad; however, this is not advised and can potentially mess up graduation dates. Many students simply haven’t been given the right information or good advice regarding studying abroad. Also, some students are not so sure it’s for them due to the common myths and exaggerations such as money troubles or homesickness.

“It sounds cool, but I am not so sure it’s something for me. I think I would like it but I would end up wanting to come home early,”said Freshman Eric Podolski.

For students who are unsure about studying abroad, they are encouraged to talk to advisors, professors, and the international students on campus. Students have lots of room for choice and opportunity that they are not aware of.

For information on study abroad, contact Paige Ramsey-Hamacher, Director for Multicultural and International Services

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