Studying abroad is expensive but worth it

Traveling outside of the United States to study in a foreign country is a trend that is becoming increasingly enticing and popular among college-aged students. The opportunity to experience a different culture and become familiar with an entirely different world is not easily passed up, that is, until the cost of studying abroad is brought forward.

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On average, students who choose to leave the country for a semester pay $21,145, with prices varying based on the country a student selects. Expenses are comparable to the normal CSU costs, which include rent, food, registration and various other personal expenses.

An average base price can be estimated for each specific country, but a more accurate judgment must take into consideration the general cost of living in a student’s host country, the currency exchange rate, the local rate of inflation, the length of the academic year and a students personal spending habits.

While it is easy to get hung up on the financial obligations a student faces when making the decision to study abroad, another important perspective on the experience is often overlooked.

“You’re not just paying to go to school in another country,” said senior Danielle Dishman. “You get so much more out of it than that.”

After leaving the United States for an entire year to study in Spain, Dishman returned this fall to Sonoma State, eager to explain to her peers the great benefits of choosing to study overseas.

“You get to experience a new culture and most times a new language. You start understanding things in a new light and look at things in a different way,” she said.

Sonoma State offers a program for students who wish to study abroad, which guides them smoothly through the process of preparing to leave everything that is familiar to them behind.

A long list of destinations are available for students to choose from, including: Australia, Canada, Chile, China, Denmark, France, Germany, Ghana, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, New Zealand, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan and the United Kingdom.

Students often select the country they wish to study in based on their major and the opportunities that each country is able to present to further their academic career. Studying abroad offers students the chance to become worldlier, and gain international skills and a better-rounded global understanding—advantages that are difficult to put a price tag on.

“The most expensive part is getting over there. Once you’re there, it’s incredibly easy to travel to neighboring countries,” said Dishman. “It’s cheaper than it is to travel from state to state in the US.”

While it is easy to dismiss the idea of leaving the country to start anew in an entirely different culture, students who bravely take the chance are highly rewarded.

“After experiencing another culture, you start to see that America isn’t the golden child you’ve grown up to think it is. You see there are different ways of doing the same thing, and sometimes you end up liking the other way better,” said Dishman. “I definitely think the expenses paid to study abroad are worth it.”


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