Gurkirn Sran: Trip of a Lifetime

A study abroad program is a once in a lifetime experience that can be very rewarding. Though it's important to take into consideration the time and money that you need to put into a study abroad program, speaking from experience, the benefits can make all the preparation worth it.

Though the thought of a study abroad program can be very exciting, you must take a step back and think about how the program benefits your education. Will the program help you obtain the credits you need to graduate? Will participating in the program slow down or accelerate your planned graduation date?

Another element to think about is the length and effort that you need to put into the process of getting accepted into a study abroad program. Though you might be excited to get the show on the road, it can take a few months to get through applications, interviews and, if you get accepted, the payment and travel arrangement process.

Another aspect of a study abroad program that you might not think about initially how different the experience will be from your day to day life. Being away from home for an extended period of time can be hard and you should think about it as more of a lifestyle change than a vacation. A lot of students, including myself, still live at home and have never had a real opportunity to be independent and fend for themselves. Though a study abroad program can be a much needed taste of freedom and independence, it is not always easy to fend for yourself or be separated from your friends and family for an extended period of time. You need to put some serious thought into whether or not you can handle these challenges. The last thing you would want to do is have to cut your program short.

Now that I've given you some things to think about it's time for me to give you the reasons you should do it!

My study abroad program has given me more life experience than I ever could have imagined it would. I had so much freedom yet I had to manage my work, study and play wisely, I lived with roommates in close quarters which taught me how to compromise and communicate effectively (it was also very fun), I had strict rules and regulations that I had to abide by which taught me discipline, I was constantly exposed to people of different cultures which really made me see others from different perspectives and made me appreciate and understand people who are different from myself. Having unlimited access to the Disney World Parks was an unforgettable experience. I will always remember the memories I made and the people I met studying abroad.

Gurkin Sran is a Tourism Management student at Capilano Univeristy. Gurkin participated in the Disney International Program in California and Florida, USA.


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