Tips From an Irvine College Consultant: 4 Tips to Get a Study Abroad Experience at Home
Many students would like to study abroad but simply don’t have the opportunity for one reason or another.
Students who would like to become global citizens can mimic the study abroad experience to some degree without actually spending a semester in another country. Here are four tips from a private Irvine college consultant to get a study abroad experience at home.
1. Join an international club or society
Students who are new to college can join the International Students Club or other multicultural society on campus. One of the greatest things about visiting another country is meeting the local people. Although it is good to learn about new people in their home environment, students who join an international club will get to meet new friends and classmates from all over the world. These friendships can be just as valuable as if they were made in another country (READ: “4 Things Study Abroad Students Don’t Expect to Find in America”).
2. Visit an urban area near campus
Although many students do not have the opportunity to travel abroad, they will likely have the opportunity to travel to a major city within the US. In some ways, and when done right, this experience can mimic a small portion of the study abroad experience. For instance, cities such as San Francisco, Chicago, and New York all have vibrant and diverse cultural communities. Students who are able to travel to these types of cities on vacation can sample the foods, cultures, and living experiences of people throughout the world. This is one of the reasons why living in the melting pot of the US is so advantageous.
3. Study art or art history
Students who take a class in art or art history will learn about artistic and cultural expression from all over the globe. Students can generally choose from Western art or Eastern art and will have the opportunity to view the history of other cultures through the eyes of their artists and musicians. Art history students are also encouraged to visit a local art museum with an international collection to get some insight into other cultures (CLICK: “Best Art Museums in Orange County”).
4. Choose a university that boasts an international student community
Many major public universities will make a huge effort to have a diverse and international student population living and studying on campus. US-based students who would like to have a multicultural experience, but who are not able to study in another country, are advised to do research about the percentage of international students on campus at the colleges they are intending to apply. Students at such universities are bound to run into a diverse group of people and engage in a multicultural education (READ: “How Should I Start My College Entrance Essays?”).
Although the study abroad experience isn’t for everybody, (it’s a big step and is also quite expensive) there are several ways that students can stay at home in the US but still begin to become global citizens. Learning about different cultures, backgrounds, and languages is a great first step to becoming a well-rounded and educated adult. It is also a wonderful way to learn to communicate effectively and enjoy the company of different types of people once in the work place. The US is such a diverse melting pot where students can enjoy an excellent international experience right here at home.
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