5 Lessons You’ll Learn While Studying Abroad

Going abroad will be a fun, exciting, and liberating experience. But even more than that, it will be a huge masterclass on life. There are things that one can only learn when catapulted out of their comfort zone and into completely different surroundings.

The Lessons You Learn Abroad

Here are just a few of the things that I’ve learned during my time abroad.

People Are Mostly Good

Don’t get me wrong – you should always trust your instincts and be especially careful when you’re traveling on your own, but some of the most meaningful experiences I’ve had abroad have come from a willingness to open myself up to strangers. It continues to amaze me how kind and helpful most people truly are, and my good experiences far outnumber the bad ones.

How to Manage Unexpected Situations

I’ve pretty much experienced everything that could possibly go wrong while traveling, from dropping my wallet in the street, to losing my only pair of eyeglasses, to helping a friend who left her phone in a nightclub… Sure, all of these things could happen at home, but being in another country adds a whole other layer of stress and difficulty. However, things always end up working out in the end, and these situations allow you to learn about yourself and your resilience.

How to Adapt to New Environments

Once you step out of the airport, you’re suddenly in a different world. The money in your pocket no longer works, the street signs are in a different language, and the cars drive on the other side of the road. Being in a new environment may be uncomfortable at first, but it makes you extremely adaptable, which is a skill that will no doubt aid you throughout your life.

You Love Where You Come From

While traveling gives you an appreciation for new places and cultures, I think it can equally deepen your love for where you come from. As amazing as being abroad is, I can guarantee that there will come a time that you dream of your own bed, home cooked meals, and the comfort of being in a place that is familiar to you. You’ll be surprised at how eager you’ll be to get off the plane when it lands back home.

How To Let Go / Say Goodbye

Goodbyes… the absolute worst part of traveling. Because so many of the people that you meet abroad are from different places and will be going home at the end of the semester, your moments with them are fleeting. But as Dr. Seuss says, “Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.” One of the biggest things that traveling has given me is the ability to appreciate moments for what they are rather than dwelling on the fact that they’re gone.

So… are you ready to learn your own lessons abroad?


Jordyn Jacobson is an International Relations student at the University of Edinburgh. She is an avid traveler and spent a year traveling throughout Latin American. She loves sharing her experiences through her writing and hopes to continue doing this. Enter Jordyn’s code “jordynj” when booking a trip with us to receive special perks on your trip!


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