Study abroad programs are a great way to see the world for college students. Inspite of all the scary stuff in the world today, kids need to get out on their own, to discover the world, to be inconvenienced, to wonder, to learn to take a calculated risk, to say hello in a foreign language. If college age students don’t take advantage of this great moment when they have the opportunity, then when are they going to? Once they join the workforce, they might travel but it certainly won’t be the same.
There are many good study abroad programs. University and colleges have them and there are private organizations that sponsor programs like this as well. If you have a college age student, most likely their school has a program or is affiliated to one.
Years ago my daughter decided to really get out there and went to Argentina for 6 months. She took classes at the main university in Buernes Aires (all classes were in Spanish) and lived with a sponsor ‘mother’ in the city with a few other kids. By the time my wife and I went to visit her, she knew everything. She told the cab driver where to go, ordered food for us, translated at a home cooked meal at the sponsor’s apartment. I was really astounded how much and how quickly she assimiliated – not just improving her Spanish but the social rules, the city landscape, the cultural mannerisms and even how to give directions to other tourists. Amazing.