4924265447_22f8b99d8fStudying abroad. All your friends are thinking about doing it, so why don’t you? It’ll be a nice change from Chipotle for lunch and waiting for the 51B in the freezing Berkeley evenings. Instead, you could be picking up a fresh baguette from Jean-Michel the jolly baker in the morning to nibble on all day and frantically trying to figure out the Parisian metro on your way home from classes. An ideal switch-up? We think so.

Living in a different country will force you to come to the realization that there is much more to the world than major cities and tourism guides. Exploration and immersion will expose you to small quaint towns and locals with vibrant history and culture. Learning to speak a language through everyday conversation is not only a rare opportunity, but necessary to accomplish in your young twenty-something years since these years are the most optimal time for language acquisition by the brain. You’ll bring a new diversity in thought and experiences to Berkeley upon your return, and your friends here (if applicable) will appreciate you so much more.

The way we see it, studying abroad is an unparalleled experience that just cannot be replicated after your college years. You’ll have many more serious things to worry about beyond fulfilling unit and breadth requirements or which iPad you should invest a large portion of your disposable income to (on a side note, the iPad 2 is rumored to be going on sale soon upon the rumored Wednesday preview of the third generation iPad). Studying abroad lets you put your life on hold and immerse yourself in a world that is open to your self-exploration and will forgive you on your appalling pronunciations. If you’re concerned about studying abroad in the major that you are currently pursuing or have declared, there will be a Study Abroad in Your Major workshop in 234 Dwinelle tonight (Tuesday, March 6) hosted by Major Madness this month. We say thumbs up to traveling the world while you’re still young, wild and free.

As Billy Joel so aptly put it once upon a time: “Slow down, you crazy child/You’re so ambitious for a juvenile … When will you realize Vienna waits for you?”

Image source: starsantiques under Creative Commons

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