Student Benefits of Study Abroad

Story by Audriana Chenoweth

Photos courtesy of Meghan Knorp

With the upcoming Study Abroad Fair, many professors advise their students to consider making a study abroad experience part of their time here at Central Michigan University.

The benefits that come along with an experience such as that vary depending on who is asked. Professors tend to focus on more of the academic advantages whereas students who have participated in study abroad talk more about the impacts it has made on their lives and who they will become.

The experiences that accompany time abroad allow for students to become more culturally aware and expand their understanding of the bigger picture.

Study abroad programs can be based around a student’s field of study or a unique course that piques their interest.

Senior Meghan Knorp has participated in two programs; one inside her field and one that filled her IV B credit with a plan to complete a third and final study abroad before receiving her degree in August.

“Studying abroad had been one of the most beneficial experiences I’ve had at Central,” Knorp said.

The entire experience of taking a course in a new environment gives students a chance to be interested in the material and meet new people that can expand the understanding students have of the world.

Knorp has taken part in more of an independent study abroad along with a faculty lead. The type of study abroad that fits each student varies depending on what they are looking to get out of the experience.

If structure is the goal, then a faculty lead may be a better option, whereas an independent study abroad allows for additional alone time to explore.

In October, Knorp gave a speech to alumni with President Davies regarding her time abroad. Following the conclusion of her speech, she had multiple audience members tell her how much they regretted not taking the opportunity to study abroad when given the chance.

“If you’re on the fence about going then the chances are, you’ll really enjoy it once you’re there,” Knorp said. “It’s better to take that risk and do it and probably love it than to not take the risk and wish you had.”

For anyone interested in learning more about studying abroad, the Study Abroad Fair is January 22 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.