Why It's OK If You Didn't Study Abroad

by Rebecca Deczynski

As studying abroad becomes increasingly more common for college students, it's tempting to leave campus for a semester or more in search of new opportunities, friends, and experiences. But not everyone has the option to jet off to travel the world during college — and that's why it's OK if you didn't study abroad. While there is plenty to see and do out in the real world, staying on campus offers a different kind of experience that's just as valuable.

Deciding not to go overseas is a personal decision that can weigh on many different variables. Studying abroad can be pretty expensive, so it's not always an affordable option for some. Other students could find their required courses back home to be too demanding for them to take off for a semester, or they might not even be able to take the classes they need abroad. While studying abroad may be a fun experience, it simply isn't possible for everyone.

Even if you don't get the chance to back up your bags and jet off while you're an undergrad, there are a lot of benefits to staying right where you are. Choosing not to study abroad doesn't mean you're missing out — you're just getting a different experience. These 10 reasons will prove that there is more to college than studying abroad.

1. Your time is limited on campus anyway

Most undergrads only have four years to finish up their degree, and if you're not sticking around for a higher degree, that means you only have so long to appreciate your campus. Staying on-campus instead of going abroad means that you have more time to fully soak in everything that's great about your school. You can always travel, but you can't always be an undergrad student.

2. You can finish your degree early

Alternatively, skipping out on study abroad could mean that you graduate early, and save tons of cash by taking all of your required classes ASAP.

3. You won't miss out on campus traditions

While you might get FOMO from seeing your friends hitting up clubs in Europe, just know that your friends who are abroad secretly miss your college parties, sports games, and weird traditions too.

4. You won't feel homesick

Many people end up feeling a little homesick while studying abroad, which isn't the end of the world. But staying on campus means skipping out on any potential discomfort.

5. You'll still meet new people

Sure, you meet new people while studying abroad, but people who don't study abroad also end up finding each other as the semester progresses. Even if your BFF jets off to Asia, you'll make new friends on campus, just because you might not have your same old friend group to fall back on.

6. You don't have to worry about packing

If the thought of shoving all of your necessary belongings into one or two suitcases makes you panic, then you can easily avoid the drama of having to pack for a three- to four-month long trip.

7. You can experience culture at home too

It's the 21st century! Even if you're not abroad, you have so many books, movies, and online resources at your disposal — you can still learn about other cultures, and sharpen your foreign language skills.

8. You can have pen pals

Your friends abroad will be more than happy to send you postcards — and that means that you can have a temporary pen pal overseas.

9. It doesn't make or break your college experience

When it comes down to it, studying abroad can be a big part of your college career, but it doesn't have to be. Staying on campus allows you to focus on the many, many other aspects of campus life — like extra curricular activities, internships, and more. College is so much more than a plane ticket abroad.

10. You can travel after college too

Traveling as a student versus as an adult is very different. Waiting until adulthood to scope out some foreign countries means that you can likely afford to go to nicer restaurants, cool museums, and more. But if you're looking for a cheap experience, don't forget that you can still go on the backpacking trip of your dreams after graduation, too.

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