Advice for Students Considering Studying Abroad


Stefano Ausenda

View of Florence, where I lived and studied for four and a half months, from the Piazzale Michelangelo.

Stefano Ausenda, Contributing Editor

The stunning tranquility and resilience of ancient Rome, the still overwhelming power of the Catholic church, and centuries-old walls surrounding entire towns and cities, making them appear totally detached from the modern world. I experienced these things and countless others, all within five days of arriving in Italy!

Ever since I started at Pace, I knew that I wanted to study abroad. And since my dad is Italian and most of my family still lives there, I knew where I wanted to study almost immediately.

Having made the decision to go during the spring semester of my junior year, I can honestly say that choosing to live and study within the Tuscan capital of Florence for four and a half months has been one of the most memorable and rewarding experiences of my entire life, and when it ended, I was the happiest that I had been in quite a long time.

If you are even slightly considering studying abroad, I have some advice to make your experience as unforgettable as mine was. My first, and probably most important, piece of advice is to be open to new experiences. Open to experiencing new cultures, meeting new kinds of people, eating different types of foods, and visiting new places. If you choose not to try something new or step outside of your comfort zone just a little bit, then your study abroad experience won’t be as great.

With that being said, another tip is to be aware of how much time you have; do not do everything all at once, or not at all. If you have done everything you wanted to do and went everywhere you wanted to go within the first few weeks of being abroad, then you won’t have much left to look forward to for the remaining weeks or months. You may be abroad for almost five months, so there’s no need to rush.

You should always be aware of how much money you have, or don’t have, in your account. I learned that first hand when I ran out of money two days into spring break. Don’t let that happen to you.

Eily Jones, junior at Pace, studied in Dublin during the 2019 January intercession. The biggest takeaway for her was becoming aware of the different educational systems and different ways of living in other countries.

Jones enjoyed her experience abroad so much that she wants to eventually move to Dublin. She advises all students to study abroad, even if it may seem scary at first.

“If [students] are worried about spending an entire semester abroad, [they] have the option of only going for three weeks, and [the experience] is so worth it,” she said.

Similar to Jones, I advise any student who wants to study abroad to do it. I guarantee that if you decide to go, you definitely won’t regret it. It can completely change who you are if you want it to and are open enough to let it.