Bliss Abroad: Exploring the World Beyond the Classroom

Capriccia Thomas, Health Editor

Open your mind to adventure and discovery by exploring different countries, cultures, and customs.

Take a seat and let the world be your teacher. Breaking out of your comfort zone, going on an adventure, and discovering new things about yourself are the most important lessons learned while traveling.

The world looks different outside of Zoom sessions and four walls decorated with desks and whiteboards. Going abroad helps people appreciate and develop a new perspective on the different cultures and how people live in other parts of the world.

Empathy, resilience, cultural competence, budget management, and goal setting are just a few of the many skill sets acquired through traveling.

It’s also a great escape to deep dive into new worlds. “Think about what you want to accomplish from the experience. You learn so much about yourself and understanding of your place in the world,” said Kelly Moran, CSUEB Director of the Center for International Education.

Traveling gives students an opportunity to meet others and learn new life skills to understand themselves and geography better.

“I met my girlfriend [at Haifa University in Israel]. We’ve seen each other since. I still have a piece of study abroad with me. I have friends that I met there I keep in contact with. I had a good six months; that’s more than some students that came to the second semester can say, and I can always go back,” said Evan Kelly, a CSUEB alumni.

Learning abroad is a great way to be immersed in another culture and get educated simultaneously. “Traveling abroad as a student is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. You gain skills of independence and set yourself apart from other students,” continued Moran.

Make the world your playground. Keep an open mind and expand your horizons. Adapting to new environments broadens your mind to other points of view and challenges your own opinions.

“I still keep in contact with my close friends since they all live in California. My roommate in Korea lives 20 minutes away. She’s my best friend for life. And those who aren’t close, in the East Coast or the Netherlands, I still talk to every so often. I still keep in touch with friends from Korea,” said Gloria Mejia, a Sonoma State University alumni.

You can read textbooks about exotic lands and far away places. But, you can’t taste, smell, hear or touch the facts or illustrations through the pages. Traveling allows you to go on a journey that enriches your life and enhances your self-awareness.

Spread your wings and take flight. There’s a whole world out there to seek and explore. Discover new lands and people. There’s so much to see with over 195 countries spread throughout the seven continents.

Although traveling the world is different due to COVID-19, there are safety precautions and measures in place. Follow standard protocols when traveling abroad, whether you’re on a solo or group adventure. For more information on studying abroad, visit East Bay’s study abroad website.