Before I even got into Rice, I knew that I wanted to study abroad at some point. Fast-forward to my sophomore year, I remember feeling stagnant and overworked. When I was trying to make plans for the upcoming summer, I knew I wanted to research but also travel to Germany. Fortunately, I got into a program that allowed me to do both of these things.
Through this experience I got to do more independent-research on a subject that I was interested in, I met a lot of awesome Germans and some Americans along the way and I travelled frequently around Germany and Europe.
When I came back to America, I definitely felt like my perspective on life was altered. This was the first time I lived completely on my own and had no friends or family around me. Nevertheless, I was eager to do it all over again, so I decided to study abroad the next semester in London. Though extenuating circumstances cut my trip short, the two months I spent abroad were definitely worth it. I met even more amazing people and I got to learn at the heart of East London.
What I love about studying abroad is that it’s a change in scenery and it exposes you to things you wouldn’t otherwise see at Rice. When I was in Germany, I got to do research that wouldn’t have otherwise been available. Similarly, I got to take classes in London that were not taught at Rice.
If you’re on the fence about going abroad, I’d say just take a leap of faith and do it! There are moments where you’ll miss the people you left back home or the little things that you can only find in America (mine was Chipotle). However, when you look back on your college experience, you’ll definitely realize that studying abroad enhanced it and made you a more independent person.