Should I Study Abroad?

This is a big question!

Study abroad, especially through a K College program, can be a wonderfully transformative experience. We have programs all over the globe that offer challenging academics, deep cultural immersion and fun. Spending time abroad during your four years at K is a fantastic way to fulfill a big element of the K Plan:

International and Intercultural Engagement

For many alumni, their time on study abroad (or on “foreign study,” as it was once called) counts as one of the most memorable aspects of their K College education.

It’s important to note, however, that study abroad is not required. While it does represent a signature K experience for many students, it is possible to spend all four of your years very productively on campus in Kalamazoo. You may find, after examining your options, that remaining on campus is the best plan for you. What are the factors that will help you determine your own answer to the question of whether to study abroad, or not?

Consider your goals and the progress you’re making toward meeting them. Talk to your adviser, meet with the professional staff at the CIP and attend information sessions about the various study abroad and study away programs K offers. Also, talk to students at K who’ve recently returned from study abroad and learn as much as you can from their experiences. In addition, here are the top ten reasons why…and why not to study abroad:

Top 10 Reasons to Study Abroad

  1. I’m fascinated by other cultures and want to learn more about them.
  2. I want to challenge myself by developing my independence skills, knowledge about the world and my sense of self.
  3. I want to develop my foreign language skills.
  4. I want to learn to see the world from different perspectives.
  5. I want to understand my home country through the eyes of another culture.
  6. I want to learn how people in other parts of the world understand the key questions in my academic discipline.
  7. I want to travel! Far away.
  8. I’m interested in expanding my spiritual horizons, as well as my academic ones.
  9. I want to share the special things about my home culture with others.
  10. I want to make connections with people and institutions that will benefit me and them.

Top 10 Reason NOT to Study Abroad

  1. I need a break from the rigors of K.
  2. I hear that Ecuador has some amazing beaches.
  3. All the guys on the team are going.
  4. I hear the drinking age in Germany is 16!
  5. This is my only chance to live abroad.
  6. One word–Amsterdam!!
  7. It’ll be cheaper than a year at K.
  8. It’s my chance to spread democracy in other parts of the world.
  9. Clothes are so much cheaper in Asia.
  10. It’ll be easy–everybody speaks English nowadays.