Go abroad

Michele Snow

It’s been seven months since I last wrote an article for the Chronicle, centered around the disorganization of the study abroad office.

I’m back to tell you two things. First, the study abroad office will not make or break your semester abroad. Second, no matter how difficult it may be to navigate the forms and signatures and meetings and red tape, your semester will be worth it.

I studied abroad this past fall in Paris, and I can honestly say it was one of the greatest experiences of my life. Of course, everybody says those words when they come back: “It was such a great experience!” But rather than just responding with a “That’s nice,” I implore those of you who still have time to study abroad to figure it out. Somehow, whether it’s a semester or a year or a spring break or a month in the summer, go abroad.

Sure, everyone says you’ll gain valuable life experience, make new friends and learn something about yourself. But if you don’t listen to them, listen to me. I’m telling you that all of these will happen and more.

You’ll learn to appreciate your own country and see it as the world sees it. You’ll make some of the best friends of your life, and together, you’ll all ride the ups and downs of a new city and a new culture. You’ll learn that an enormous, thriving world exists out there, and the Quinnipiac bubble might actually be holding you back from living the biggest life you can. You’ll take advantage of every incredible opportunity that falls into your lap. And there will be a lot of them.

For four months, you’ll be completely independent and navigating foreign places on your own. This might scare you, but by the end, you’ll realize you might actually be ready for adulthood. You’ll meet people with similar values, people with interests far away from your own, and people you’re insanely attracted to, romantically and platonically. You will grow up. You will love. You will live.

When you come back to Quinnipiac, you’ll be harshly reminded that Hamden is not Paris (or insert your preferred exotic city here). But you’ll have grown. QU will be the same old QU, sending you to get your card reprogrammed at the QCard office, who sends you to Res Life because they don’t think you need a new card, who sends you back to the QCard office because you do in fact need a new card. But you’re not mad, you’ve got a new attitude. You went abroad.