8 Reasons To Study Abroad Somewhere Less Popular

It almost seems like the terms “study abroad” and “somewhere in Europe” are interchangeable these days. I’m usually caught quite off guard when I ask someone where they’re planning on studying abroad and their answer is anything OTHER than Barcelona, Germany, or somewhere in Italy. Don’t get me wrong, those places are wonderful and there’s definitely a reason spots like these are incredibly popular. BUT! It’s relatively easy and affordable to fly to these more “touristy” places without feeling overwhelmingly outside your comfort zone. If you REALLY want to be challenged, consider these 8 reasons you should consider studying abroad in a less popular country.

  1. There are so many countries that you haven’t fallen in love with yet

I had some serious doubts when I chose New Zealand as my study abroad location. I thought I would be constantly off the grid and turns out Auckland is almost as (if not more) lush and advanced as many cities in America. I love where I chose and I thank myself every day for going with the less-travelled path.

Reasons to Study Abroad Somewhere Less Popular

  1. The cultures you haven’t learned about

There are so many different, deeply imbedded cultures within countries that I had no idea existed. There are indeed lots of countries where the culture feels similar to America, but while studying abroad you’ll quickly learn that each place has their own traditions and social differences. When you’re somewhere drastically different from your home country it is so interesting to figure out and discover why they build so much of the society’s foundation.

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  1. Getting more out of the culture

When you are completely immersed into the environment and not likely to be surround by heaps of other Americans, you get so much more out of the experience independently. You learn how to integrate with the locals and fully commit to a place rather than stay inside the bubble of your comfort zone.

Reasons to Study Abroad Somewhere Less Popular - go to there

  1. The once in a lifetime opportunity to go somewhere rare

One of the best times to travel is when you are young and have a minimal amount of responsibilities and ties that are holding you back from seeing the world. It’s also probably the cheapest you will be able to travel by going through a study abroad program, so why not choose somewhere that you may never have the opportunity to see again?

Reasons to Study Abroad Somewhere Less Popular - once in a lifetime

  1. Being close to other amazing countries

When you go somewhere off the beaten track, you are most likely near unreal amounts of other countries. Being in New Zealand, it makes flights super affordable to be able to take a weekend to Fiji or Australia, or even a nice holiday to Bali, Thailand, Vietnam. Being near other places that are all so diverse from each other creates an even more amazing opportunity to see even more cultures and get more out of your study abroad experience.

Reasons to Study Abroad Somewhere Less Popular - Travel

  1. The diversity of the terrain

Going somewhere that isn’t just a massive cluster of cities allows you to explore more diverse and open landscapes. Living in a city can sometimes feel quite claustrophobic, but being somewhere where you can be on an open beach or vast mountain ranges within 30 minutes from the city creates so much flexibility in your semester abroad.

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  1. Being able to share your culture with another country

As curious as you will be to meet with locals, you’ll discover that they are also curious to hear about you and your background. If you choose to study somewhere that isn’t as popular of a location for study abroad students, many local people will be FASCINATED by you because they haven’t had the opportunity to meet people like you from your background. Not only do you feel like you learn from them, but also that they are benefiting from you as well.

Reasons to Study Abroad Somewhere Less Popular - sharing culture

  1. Having your own secret place

When you go somewhere that not many other people choose as their location to study abroad, you get to experience and see places that a lot of other students don’t. Everything feels more personal to you and it’s almost hard to describe your experience to other people because you feel as if they simply couldn’t understand without going themselves. When I chose somewhere not as glamorous and tourist as my study abroad location, I found my happiness in the least expected place, 8000 miles from home. The world is huge, you’ll never know where you’ll find yourself!

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Where’s your dream study abroad location?

images: Giphy (6), Tumblr (2)

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Adele Hunter-Shields

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