Take it from someone’s who has just come back from a year abroad: it could be the best year of your life. Think of it as a year-long holiday, with the added benefit of actually learning new things about yourself and academically. Throw away potential concerns of leaving the known comfort of your home uni, and step right into the opportunity of a lifetime that is just waiting for you to grab it and have an incredible time. These reasons to do a year abroad will have you booking your flight tomorrow!
1. Get Into New Music
South African rap or Senegalese musician Cheikh Lô’s music is pretty far from an Ed Sheeran album or Ariana Grande’s recent releases, but the music of your host country might just be what your Spotify playlist has been craving. Your ears will become alert to the sounds of reggaeton or opera in the corners of the town you’re living in, and you might discover a range of music that really matches your vibe.
2. Free Time To Explore Your Interests
2 years of intense (lol) studying prior to a year abroad can leave you with precious little time left of your student career to try everything you wanted to before you leap into the working world. On a year abroad your classes or placement will hopefully be less demanding, and may not even count towards your degree, which means you have plenty of time to devote to potential hobbies like pottery, screenplay writing or boat-building if that’s your thing. Become your best self on your year abroad and change for the better. This is definitely one of the most fulfilling reasons to do a year abroad!
3. Capture Some Of The Best Shots You’ve Ever Taken
Equipped with a smartphone, everyone is an amateur photographer these days, but rather than spending yet another minute capturing that pretty sunset over smokey London, on a year abroad you can take advantage of your new settings and take shots of glorious landscapes in Tuscany or magnificent mountains in Santiago. You can use these stunning memories to plaster your wall in your final year to remind you life wasn’t always this bad…
4. Eat And Make Authentic Food
I mean, food is one of the best bits of travelling anywhere. If you’ve tried the most fantastic tagine or souffle in the cutest cafe in the centre of town, why not pick up some cooking skills to bring back with you and impress the socks off your friends? The fresh smells of paella will remind you of your wonderful year by the sea, and you can basically add pro chef to your CV.
5. Take the Time To Get Fit
If you’re lucky enough to be doing your year abroad by a coastal town, or somewhere with a sunny beach nearby, take up running to fully appreciate the place you’ll call home for a while. Your new city might offer sports you’d never been able to try before, so take advantage of a breath of fresh air and come back from your year with a banging bod.
6. Become A Fashion Icon
One good thing about being a stranger in a new city- no one knows you yet! This is your chance to try the daring combos that have been brooding at the back of your wardrobe for the past 6 months, and make any fashion faux pas you want, because few people will have known you for long enough to judge!
7. Travel Like You’ve Never Traveled Before
This will come as no surprise but you’ll have some fantastic opportunities to travel on your year abroad, both within the countries and to places nearby. While train tickets and flights can be pricey, sacrifice that Fenty highlighter you were planning on getting and splash on wanderlust instead while you have the chance, especially if you live further afoot than where you’ve traveled to. This is one of the really cool reasons to do a year abroad!
8. Make International Friends
Hopefully, you’ll find one or two other Brits abroad during your year to feel the comfort of the UK, but in your host country, you’ll meet intelligent and exciting people that you just wouldn’t have had the chance to meet whilst at home. They can help you hone your language skills, and you might even find travel companions for the future! A bit cheeky but hopefully they’ll host you if you ever visit their home country too!
9. Increase Your Employability
If you’re a humanities student like me you might be a bit worried about your chances of finding a job after graduation, but employers absolutely love the resilience and adaptability students learn during their years abroad. Add a new language onto the end of it and you’re good to go!
I really can’t recommend a year abroad enough. Book your flights and get your adventure started as soon as possible!
What other reasons to do a year abroad can you think of? Let us know in the comments below!
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UCL student and bonafide brown girl. Sometimes writing, mostly dreaming, always hungry.