By Gloria Costeri

Studying abroad is one of the most challenging but beneficial experiences that a student can live.
As someone who is studying abroad right now, I highly recommend and encourage other students to do the same, and there are thousands of reasons why you should do it: here are some of them.
The biggest reason you should consider studying abroad is the opportunity to see and experience the world. By getting out of your comfort zone, you will discover a new country with incredible new foods, traditions, and social atmosphere and you will better comprehend and welcome the nation’s people, culture and history.
You will find out that the education system of your host country is a great way to really experience and understand the people and their traditions, and, who knows, you may like it better than your home country’s one.
Of course, if you study abroad you have the opportunity to completely immerse yourself in a new language, and there is no better way to learn than to dive right in.
At the point you end this chapter and return home, you will get back with another viewpoint on life because there is nothing quite like being on your own in a foreign country, especially at a young age. This kind of experience will help you build up your independent nature, because you will basically be by yourself and, at the beginning, you will not have anyone to count on other than yourself. You will find yourself more mature and more open-minded, and you will realize how lucky you are that you got to experience something like that.
Last but not least, you will be able to meet lots of people and make new lifelong friends from different backgrounds, especially with other exchange students, because you will find someone who can truly understand how you feel and who is going through the same thing as you.
Studying abroad is quite expensive and it’s better if you rely on a qualified agency.
It’s important to contact many different agencies to find the one that it’s better for you. You can look online, read reviews, ask for informative interviews and ask other exchange students.
A piece of advice I can give you is to find one that has a support team available 24/7 when you are abroad because you will for sure need it once while you are there.
The price usually goes from 8000$ to 500000$, depending on the country, on the duration of the experience and on the program you choose. Some agencies give you the opportunity to choose the school or the school district you like better for a higher price.
The price includes transportation tickets, medical insurance, taxes, sometimes some money is used to pay the host family, other to pay the agency itself.
The VISA fees are never included and it’s a quite expensive process.
You will have to complete an application where you present yourself to your possibile future host family, that will choose you based on common interests.
It’s important to remember that your host family will probably be completely different from your family, it will have a different culture, different traditions, and maybe it will be of a different

religion, ethnicity or with a different sexual orientation: it’s important to be open-minded and to leave at home every kind of prejudices you may have.
Then, a family will choose you and you will finish the registration procedures.
Being far away from home is not easy at all. No matter how good your host family is, how many friends you have, how good you are in your classes, homesickness and the cultural shock will still hit you hard and sometimes you will be there, laying in your bed, just wishing you were home.
However, all this it’s part of the adapting process and, at the end of the day, it is going to be worth it.
“Studying abroad is important because it’s an experience that will change you forever, not only as a student but also as an individual. Your time overseas will teach you so much more than what’s on the syllabus, giving you invaluable opportunities as well as insight and global perspective. When the world is your classroom, you’ll gain an unparalleled education” says the writer Jacqueline Peveto, and I think there is no better definition of what studying abroad