Kathleen Rusch

Staff Writer

How would you like to learn to ride an ostrich? Or explore the catacombs in France? Or maybe celebrate the Palio di Siena with your host family in Italy? These are only some of the experiences that students who studied abroad had when they took their college experience off campus and into the world.

The adventure alone is reason enough to study abroad, but another compelling advantage for students is being able to immerse themselves in a new culture. For many, including Junior Omair Ali, immersion provides an incredible experience that stays with them for the rest of their lives.

“When I studied abroad in Oaxaca, Mexico in the summer of 2017, my life was full of adventure and free of worry! But more importantly, I learned more about myself through living with a host family, meeting new people, and immersing myself in a new culture,” said Ali, “This experience brought clarity to how I want to lead a meaningful life.”

Students who studied abroad gained a new perspective about living in a different culture and grew personally. Many students who come back are more proficient in a foreign language; they have visited cities around the world and they make lifelong friendships with their host families and study abroad peers.

However, personal growth is not the only incentive for studying abroad. According to Marc Davidson, the Associate Director for the Benedictine University International and Study Abroad Services, about 15% of students nationwide study abroad during their undergraduate years. After graduation, these students will stand out from the other 85% of their peers when they apply for jobs, this is because of their experience with interpersonal skills that they obtained while studying abroad.

Study abroad programs offer students an opportunity for a unique experience. Photo credit: Cu-portland.edu

Students who wish to study abroad or learn more about study abroad programs are encouraged to contact the International Programs and Services Department online or in the basement of Krasa. They can also contact Marc Davidson at mdavidson@ben.edu or Dr. Dave Kleinberg at dkleinberg@ben.edu. Students can also take advantage of scholarships that are available online, or set up a meeting with the International Programs and Services Department at Benedictine to discuss the costs of studying abroad.