Five Reasons To Go On Your Own

shannon-5Education abroad can make one feel nervous and afraid.  The weeks leading up to your adventure will be filled with nail-biting uncertainty.  Going abroad with a friend can help calm your nerves in this period of anticipation.  But what happens if you’re going alone?

While studying, interning, or researching abroad with a friend has a few pros, there is another option.  Going abroad alone.  To some people this idea might seem insane, but to others it’s the greatest option you can take.  Here’s a few reasons why:

  1. MAKE NEW FRIENDS. A common notion is that everyone going abroad knows someone. While in reality, student’s often have to be reminded that a lot of people they meet will be in the same boat as them.  Student’s are surprised to find how many individuals don’t know anyone else there.  This common ground can lead to incredible friendships.  The people that you go abroad with might just become some of your closest and most dependable friends.
  2. IT’S ABOUT YOU. When you go abroad with a friend, you often find yourself dividing your time between the different adventures you each want to take. When you go abroad alone, you can do the things that you want to do.  There is no other list you have to consider.  Besides, in the end, this whole experience is about you.
  3. LEAVE YOUR COMFORT ZONE. Going abroad pushes you out of your comfort zone. When you are forced to introduce yourself in a crowd, figure out your directions home, or take that first train ride alone, you are leaving your comfort zone.  There is nothing like being alone that really teaches you how to stand on your own two feet.
  4. GAIN CONFIDENCE. Leaving your comfort zone will increase your confidence. You will learn new qualities about yourself that you never even knew you possessed.  You will learn that you are stronger than you ever thought.
  5. FRESH START. A lot of times students are going abroad in order to break away from their every day life. They want a fresh start, some time away to figure out who they are, to find themselves.  What better way to do this than in a brand new country?  A country where every face you come into contact with is a new friend to make.  There is no better place to find or reinvent yourself than in a new country.

Your education abroad experience will still be one like no other, whether you’re going with a friend or without..JUST GO!

Shannon Murphy is a senior at the University of Kentucky majoring in Political Science.  She studied in Florence, Italy during the Fall 2015 Semester.