The World Can Be A Classroom

We are past the time where only the rich were given the opportunity to travel overseas. Every day, there are new people starting blogs and displaying inspiring photos of their adventures far away from home.  Young people look at these postings, sighing at their own lack of luck, without realizing it can be more than just wishful thinking.     The majority of students don’t know that the easiest time to travel is while they are in college. In fact, most people think they need to graduate, get a well-paid job, and earn a lot of money in order to visit another continent.     Most universities offer amazing study abroad programs, and they are fairly accessible to any willing student. Still, not everyone takes advantage of this given opportunity.     Paula Ramirez, a 2015 Texas A&M International University alumna, took advantage of the opportunity to do spend two summer sessions and a whole semester in Europe.     She says, “Studying abroad not only enriches your course credit hours, it enriches your life experiences. You’re exposed to a different way of living which in turn, causes you to question and realize all the reasons for your own being.”     When you’re in a new culture and interacting with interesting people of different backgrounds, it changes your perception of life.     After a semester in Spain, Rogelio De La Garza, another TAMIU alumnus, said he was “a different person and had different thoughts about life,” and that the experience “made [him] more mature in many ways.”     The exposure to new cultures helps your grow and find yourself. Not only you are given the education of your interest, but as well as being physically inspired by your environment.     When Lorena Fernandez spent a term in France, she said studying abroad taught her “to leave stereotypes out of [her] head.”     Studying and living in a different country opens one’s mind, fulfilling your cultural knowledge. Unfortunately, many people are apprehensive of leaving home. Being from a town where the culture is extremely family-oriented, people don’t see themselves leaving their loved ones for so long. Yet when they finally take that step, they usually come back thinking ‘Why didn’t I do this sooner?’     It’s okay to be afraid. Leaving home is terrifying, but the outcome is worth it.     There are no words to describe what you can gain from what nothing else provides. Students can see amazing places, try new things, and make long-lasting friends, while also gaining the love of traveling, and all it takes is courage.
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