Sep 172008
 
Authors: Caleb Thornton

If you had the chance to read my column last week, you would have noticed that I promised to tackle the issue of foreign policy this week.

Well, instead of discussing more and more politics and possibly drowning you in the issues of this election, I’ve decided to take one week off to discuss an opportunity that I think every student should consider taking advantage of: studying abroad.

If you have ever considered or are currently considering studying abroad, then I really only have one thing to say — do it. With that in mind, here are some pointers when it comes to considering whether or not to study abroad.

Use the information available to you

If you are thinking about studying abroad, then you have a great opportunity coming up to obtain a wealth of information in a very short period of time. The CSU Study Abroad Fair will be held tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Lory Student Center Main Ballrooms, which are just above the food court in the LSC.

Having visited the fair myself on several occasions, I can tell you up front that this is a must if you are planning on studying abroad. The amount of resources that are available and the general knowledge of everyone in the room are invaluable if you are considering going overseas.

However, if you simply can’t make it to the study abroad fair, then stop by the Study Abroad office located in Laurel Hall on the Northeast side of the Oval.

Go between classes if you can, or, if you are really stretched on time, visit their Web site at http://studyabroad.colostate.edu.

This office is set up specifically to help you find your way overseas, so take advantage of the resources CSU has set aside for you – hey, you paid for it.

Don’t let money get in the way

It’s no secret that studying abroad can get expensive, and with the dollar being as weak as it is right now, things don’t get a lot better when you consider the exchange rate. However, when you consider the investment you are making to your education as well as yourself, whatever amount you pay, it will be worth it.

But if the idea of adding onto your already costly tuition bill is still a big concern, be sure to consider the many financial aid options. CSU has plenty of money set aside to help students out financially, with even more scholarships and grants outside of CSU ready for the taking. For specifics, be sure to ask the Study Abroad Office, and they will be more than willing to help you out.

Carpe Diem

That’s right, college is all about seizing the day, and that couldn’t apply more to anything than studying abroad. I don’t want to say that you as a student will never get a chance like this again in your life, but honestly, you as a student may never get a chance like this again.

Studying abroad poses such a unique opportunity to not only visit destinations beyond U.S. borders, but to actually live, experience and learn from the region of your choice. I believe that this chance to experience cultures outside your own are invaluable not only to your development as a student, but also to the growth of your personal self, and unless your future career path includes long-term periods overseas, you simply will not get an opportunity like this outside of college. So when all is said and done, if you decide to take that step and study overseas, then I guarantee you will not be disappointed, but will instead walk away knowing you made one of the best decisions of your college career. I know I did.

Caleb Thornton is a senior political science major. His column appears Thursdays in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to letters@collegian.com.

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