Just a week into the fall semester, many students have spent their time purchasing textbooks, dorm appliances, groceries, and even flight tickets to another country.
Rather than spending their semester at UC Merced, various undergraduate students have taken the opportunity to study abroad and are already relishing every second of the experience.
Currently studying abroad in Rome, undergraduate Diana Gonzalez admits, “It can be a scary idea going to a place in which you can’t speak the language and you’ve never been to before, but I feel that it’s precisely that terror that builds you as [an independent] person.”
There are other concerns, however, that students have when thinking about studying abroad. The cost of the trip, tuition at a different campus, personal expenses. But despite these burdens, students continuously acknowledge that studying abroad was the best decision they made throughout their college experience.
Undergraduate Ana Padilla, who is currently studying in Paris, emphasizes, “All the loads of efforts and hardships before the trip are now meaningless; they seem like a very distant memory…it is an experience that is hard to explain in words, from how blessed you are to see how incredibly beautiful each city is.”
UC Merced student Andrea Alcantar, who is studying abroad in London, notes, “Not everyone gets the chance to study abroad which already makes it a unique experience. Being able to see and explore all of these historical landmarks, and build long time friendships with people from all over the world makes it even more special.”
Alcantar strongly encourages all students to take advantage of the opportunity and enjoy every moment of it.
Instead of spending next semester in Merced, why not spend it in a different country? Start a study abroad experience of your own. Stay open minded, follow your curiosity, and take a risk.
Jessica V. Garcia