Study Abroad: 'Totally Worth It' or 'Totally Not'?

By Rachel Dranetz on September 8, 2017

FSUIP Facebook page

The main concern students have about studying abroad is money, which is completely understandable, really. College is already expensive as it is, and it’s no secret that- depending on the program- studying abroad can cost an arm and a leg in comparison to the standard tuition.

Except schools, particularly large schools such as our very own Florida State University, get that. They understand that the majority of students are on a budget, and simply can’t afford to spend time and money traversing the world, just for the sake of a more broadened education and the experience of a lifetime.

That’s why scholarships are available for students who want to study abroad without having to take out a loan. Scholarships for academic excellence or for major-specific programs are there to help students afford studying overseas. In addition to tuition, budgeting is also a huge life-saver when it comes to trying to cut down on expenses.

FSU has a number of different campuses to choose from, (which completely eliminates the hassle of having to transfer credits), and if students still want to study elsewhere, the university has connections to other schools that have different programs in different places. No matter what, there is going to be a program for your specific major. Or if you would rather just take general courses, you have that option too. International programs are offered year-round; whether you would prefer a short summer session abroad, or want to stay for a whole year.

FSUIP Facebook page

So what is there to gain from studying abroad?

A lot of students question the necessity of furthering their education overseas, particularly since the facilities, programs, courses, and professors here in Tallahassee are already top-notch. Except studying abroad isn’t just about what you learn in the classroom; it’s about the experience of a lifetime.

Words cannot describe the feeling of being surrounded by culture and history that predates the founding of the United States by centuries- it truly is otherworldly. Museums, monuments, landmarks- sights you’ve only ever heard about.

FSU IP

Traveling is all about stepping out of your comfort zone; discovering new parts of the world one day at a time. There’s nothing that can quite compare to spending an afternoon canal riding through the heart of Florence, or concert-hopping your way through downtown London, or watching the sun rise over the Valencian coastline.

The places you’ll go, the people you’ll meet,  and the food you’ll eat is in itself the most important part of studying abroad, and FSU not only allows such freedoms, but encourages it. (Particularly in Europe, traveling between European countries is much cheaper, and is ridiculously easier than traveling from the States.)

FSUIP Facebook page

For students who are nervous about being in such a new environment surrounded by complete strangers, the dorms and living accommodations make it super easy to connect with and befriend your fellow international students. The students living abroad together become a family of sorts- ragtag but lovable in all their greatness. (Pro tip- traveling independently from school is way more fun with company.)

But for those of you who still have concerns, studying abroad isn’t solely about exploration and cultural immersion; the classes offered are also excellent. Particularly for subjects that have connections to the location that you are in, (languages, cultural studies, history, art, archaeology, architecture, food studies, hospitality, and the list goes on and on), students can get first-hand experience while learning.

Some of the professors are locals, who can teach students sch more about culture and history and context than what is offered in a textbook. Even some of your fellow students will be from other universities, or might even be locals themselves. While part of the FSU International Programs, students have the rare opportunity to meet people from drastically different cultures and places.

If you’re worried that studying abroad can’t keep up with your academic and professional goals, part-time job and internship opportunities are also available for students with no time to waste.

So is studying abroad worth it?

At the end of the day, the choice is up to you. But if it’s something that you would want to do, then you should absolutely go for it. It might not be as unrealistic as you think.

FSUIP Facebook page

Interested in studying abroad? Check out https://international.fsu.edu/, follow FSUIP on Twitter or Facebook for more info and updates on IP events, or drop by the International Programs Office at:

 International Programs, Florida State University

282 Champions Way, PO Box 3062420, Tallahassee, FL 32306

Located in University Center Building A, Suite A5500

IP Office Hours: Monday – Friday: 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM EST

Rachel is an English (Editing, Writing, and Media) major doubling in Classical Civ. After she gets her degrees, she aspires to work mher way into editing and publishing, so that she can help bring new books into the world.

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