In my junior year at Syracuse, I registered to spend my spring semester studying abroad in London. I was giddy with thoughts of renting a flat with my friends, landing a magazine internship in the city, exploring Europe on the weekends, and being fully immersed in a foreign culture for four whole months. As a kid bitten by the travel bug early, it felt so me. I picked out my classes online, got a crisp, new international student ID card in the mail, renewed my passport, and went to all of the required pre-departure meetings. There was little else to do besides board a plane bound for Heathrow. But in the end, I never made it to London. During the countdown to my departure date, I found myself suddenly smitten and loath to leave the country in fear of what I’d be missing out on here at home. Instead, what I missed out on were weekends in Paris, Florence, and Brussels, guest lectures by London’s media elite, and a precious few months of self-exploration and independence that can only be cultivated in that kind of setting. As Sinatra sang, “Regrets, I’ve had a few,” and this is my biggest.
Vicariousness, I know, is part of the reason that I have a particular fondness for the ISA Study Abroad Student Blog, but it’s also because it’s an exciting tool in opening students’ eyes and minds to the experience of studying abroad. ISA student bloggers hail from a variety of universities and are stationed all around the globe, and they post everything from stunning photos and stories of their experiences in places like Machu Picchu and Morocco (pictured above and below) to fitness tips and career Q&As. I’m pretty sure that if this blog had been around as I was preparing for my own semester overseas, I’d be telling you a very different story now—perhaps much like this one.
Are you in college and considering studying abroad, or do you have kids who might one day like to? Take a look at the blog. If you studied abroad, where did you go? Tell me in the comments section below!