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Stephen Muss (Miami)

Here’s a question, why should you study abroad?

Here’s a question, why should you study abroad? Or just staying in the same school, with the same friends, with the same sets of experiences as everyone else in their town. Or should you consider spending a few weeks, at least, in a different country to experience a different culture, make new friends, making connections with different countries, and becoming a student of the international community.

It can be argued that you can have a very worthwhile high school experience while in your hometown, where you can grow up emotionally and physically with your best friends. The usual high school experience isn’t necessarily bad it’s really really great. But compared to spending time studying abroad in a place like Israel on Alexander Muss, or really any other study abroad program. The experience of forging new bonds with people that live all over America is truly special, it’s like we can start playing Jewish geography ourselves and not wait for our parents. Going to the state of Israel for the first time is an amazing experience, especially when I get to spend 4 months here and make some of my best friends ever.

The decision to study abroad is a very major one, and shouldn't be made lightly. It can have a very lasting and dramatic ramifications. Going on a study-abroad program will temporarily remove you from the cozy, casual, and consistent life back home. It can strain relationships very heavily, especially romantic ones. The long-distance for a long time makes it hard to maintain those intricate and delicate kinds of relationships, but I've seen a few people do it a wild success.  Neither should you worry about being out of the loop, or people forgetting about you, it won't happen, unless you want it to. It's a personal choice of staying in touch or letting them go. Both are perfectly fine options, live in the moment, or jump back and forth.

But those are just temporary drawbacks, the benefits for studying abroad are absolutely massive; you make tons of new friends, learn and become attached to a new culture, you can learn some of the local languages, get some great college preparation, and I what think to be the most important one, personal growth, and maturation. On study-abroad programs, you can really mature and become a much better version of yourself and be as adult or childish as you want. You can be whoever you want to be. That's an opportunity that you should take advantage of before college. I heavily recommend doing a study-abroad program before college.