Pros and Cons of Spending the Summer Abroad

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Finals are almost done, dorm rooms are almost packed, and everyone is talking about their summer plans. Fortunately, it is not too late to jump on a time-honored tradition among many college students: spending the summer abroad. With so many destinations and types of trips, students have nearly endless possibilities! But before you book your plane tickets, take into account these three pros and cons of spending the summer abroad.

3 Pros

1.   Make the Most out of Your Summer

For many, summer vacation is a perfect time to sit back, relax, and spend days outside of the stressful classroom. For others, this kind of vacation can be boring and repetitive. Electing to spend it overseas in a study abroad program is a much more appealing option for those with an adventurous side who want to make each moment of free time count. From backpacking through Europe, to volunteering in South America, or taking summer courses in Asia, there are plenty of options that can enhance a résumé and provide an exciting schedule for students.

2.   Vacation Cheaply

Studying abroad during the school year can have mixed impact on your wallet. Some programs cost the same as if you stayed on campus, while others with hidden fees and activity costs make you feel like you’re paying a second tuition. For increased savings, elect to stay in a hostel, use your student ID to get discounts on transportation and sightseeing, and visit countries with low costs of living. You’ll get the same experience as someone who does an educational experience during the school year at half the cost.

3.   Shorter Study Abroad Experience

While some students have passports that are filled to the brim with experiences, others may just be getting their airline wings for the first time. If you are concerned about being prone to homesickness, choosing to travel in the summer limits the time you are away from the ones you love.

3 Cons

1.   Miss out on Summer Opportunities

That internship is not going to be around if you decide to travel independently. The same goes with a temporary job or the summer course you have been dying to take. Make the right choice for where you are in your life. If you can afford to miss an academic or job experience, then do so.

2.   Overall Expense

While you can travel relatively cheaply, international travel will still cost you at least several grand depending on your destination. Saving up for airline tickets, hotel and hostel costs, food expenses, and general travel will also take you time—a luxury you may not have if you are saving your pennies to pay tuition. In addition, you will have to be sure to have extra money in your savings account for travel emergencies that are hard to predict.

3.   Less Adaptation Time

Summer travel overseas may remind you of vacationing with your parents when you were younger. There just isn’t enough time to see and do everything on your list! While students who study abroad during the school year have an adjustment period and the ability to travel leisurely, a summer provides you with only a handful of weeks to get the entire experience.

Making the decision to venture abroad is a huge one. It may change your life and open up new doors. But even with all the positives, there are the downsides, such as the expense and limited time table. Your decision to travel may not be an easy one to make, but it is worth the lifetime of memories once you have.

Did you study abroad during college? If so, was it during the summer or for a semester? What would you recommend for students looking to travel?

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Katherine Carpenter

Katherine Carpenter

Hi I'm Katherine! I love DIY projects, especially ones that I can use to make my dorm room pop! My favorite flavor of ice cream is mint chocolate chip, especially when it's on a cone. I love hanging out with my sorority sisters and giving back to the community. Always remember to live, laugh and love!