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University Study Abroad

Margie Said:

Can you tell me about your university study abroad experience?

We Answered:

Hello! I'm currently studying abroad in Uruguay for 10 months (one month to go) so you know I got some answers for you.

Cost: For the most part its what I would have paid for a semester at my school. The thing is I splurge more on food and certain cultural experiences as well as travel to other countries. I'm also really lucky that I went to South America where the US dollar is doing pretty good so more bang for my buck. And plane tickets are on you. I happened to get a scholarship from my international programs center that paid for a roundtrip ticket thanks to some serious bargain shopping online. A round trip ticket to Montevideo, Uruguay from the US is almost impossible to find for under $1000 and I managed to get it for $800.... yeah!

Education: Well, I'm studying in Spanish so that really changes my experience. My major in school is Spanish but thats foreign teachers teaching to non-native speakers. Here the teachers speak like they are speaking to native speakers which means that I'm fighting to understand the language and still having to learn the material at the same time. Its great though for improving my Spanish. Can't wait to get back to my Spanish classes in my home university and see how much better I am.

Also keep in mind that it will be different. Its a little annoyance sometimes especially when the class is in your native language and you still miss something. I have two classes in English and I will still have to clarify the requirements for assignments because in the US we don't do assignments like they do or its just a different style. I also happened to apply for a private school (definitely did not know this going into it) so the education is great.

How is it in general?: Its awesome. There are ups and downs and especially now that I have 31 days left and Thanksgiving is next week I want to go home something awful, but then I remember why I'm here and that I have Skype so that while I can't be with my parents I can see them hanging out in the kitchen together being their crazy selves. I think it helps a lot to be also learn about where you're going before you get there. Like really make an effort to look up things about culture, the people, things to do. It helped me a lot when I first got there (thanks to google maps I knew EXACTLY how to get to my university from my hostel without having ever set foot in that country).

But best of all I love how with study abroad you can make the experience what you wanted to be. I wanted to learn Spanish and be so ingrained in the culture that I can act as a Latin America ambassador more or less when I get back and let people know what its really like and I've definitely done that. But if you just want a semester abroad in a cool place that is possible too. Or if you want to experience a different culture like the Middle East and still speak in English while you're in school its totally possible.

You'll miss your friends, your home country, and all of that stuff while you're there but its so worth it to be immersed in another culture and make friends with people you never would have met other wise. Not to mention changing your facebook status to something exotic and letting your friends know that they are missing out. :P

Hope that helps! I also have a blog if you want to check it out.

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