Getting into your college of choice might be one of your proudest accomplishments. Considering the time it took to find the perfect college for you, get the grades, score high enough on the ACT or SAT, send in all of your admissions materials and figure out how to pay for college, is it really worth it to leave your college campus for a study abroad program? An article in USA Today suggests that maybe staying on campus is as valuable, if not more so, than leaving campus for a foreign experience:
Remember high school? You spent days polishing your application essays and nights worrying about a rejection letter from the university of your dreams. You’re at that university now, paying a small fortune for the small class sizes, award-winning professors and diverse, gifted classmates that you dreamed about two or three years ago. And now you’re trying to leave?You have probably already started taking those advantages for granted. Unless you’re considering a semester at Oxford, you might be unpleasantly surprised at the academics at your host school. There’s a reason foreigners come to America’s universities – they really are the best in the world.
As budgets are cut, so are class schedules. Unless you’re in the biggest major on campus, there are classes that are offered very infrequently – classes that you’ll miss out on. It might be the seminar on women in journalism or on South American popular revolutions. Ever since the spring of my first year, I had been yearning to take a class on natural language processing (don’t ask – it’s really nerdy). I would have missed out on the chance to take that course if I had gone abroad. The kicker is that your junior year is when you start having enough priority to register for the classes that filled up when you were a freshman or a sophomore.