5 Ways That Studying in the United States Changed My Life

December, 1 2017 in General Topics

I had just turned 18 when I moved to the United States. I was young and had no clear vision of what I wanted. I knew I had to graduate from high school and attend college. And I knew that going abroad would open many doors in my future.

I was lucky enough to have both the financial and emotional support from my family to pursue an education outside my country, Colombia. Little did I know that moving away would bring countless number of opportunities, as well as changing the path of my life.
These are 5 ways that studying in the United States transformed my life:

1. It Opened My Mind👀

I didn't have much interaction with other cultures while I was growing up. 20 years ago, Colombia was not very attractive for foreigners to visit, thus much of my school years were shared with other girls just like me.

Of course, that drastically changed when I moved to the States. I initially majored in economics, but the interaction with other students from different countries sparked a curiosity for culture and international affairs, so I decided to add a major in international studies.

2. It made me stronger, resilient, and adaptable💪

Cliché, I know, but it truly did. It wasn't easy to be far away from my comfort zone and I almost gave up. During my second semester in the US, being a freshman, the honeymoon phase of living abroad had come to an end.

I was working two jobs, taking a full course load, and I was in a complicated relationship. I wanted to quit and go back to my easy life in Colombia with my mom and dad. Fortunately, I didn't. I stayed to complete my Bachelor's degree thanks to some wise words from a good friend, a pinch of determination, a sprinkle of confidence, and the realization of how fortunate I was.

3. It Inspired Me To Travel✈️

I have been fortunate to experience other cultures first hand throughout my travels. After living in the United States for 10 years, my husband and I moved to Thailand for two years starting in 2015.

Never in a million years would I have thought living in Thailand would be possible. But because I was opened and willing to move to another country , I was able to once again jump to a new adventure in a new culture. Everything that I had learned in the last 10 years had prepared me to be happy and successful in whatever place I decided to live.

The International Office at the school should have plenty of information about it, so don’t hesitate to contact them.

4. It Gave Me Friends All Over The World🌎

One of the coolest things about studying in the United States is that it attracts people from every corner of the world. In my university, we had over 40 countries represented. Thus, you end up meeting people from all different nationalities.

Reunion in Turkey. From left to right: Jenny 🇺🇸, Cami 🇨🇴 , Baris 🇹🇷.

In our recent travels through Asia and Europe, I was able to reunite with at least 5 friends from my undergraduate years in the United States. Rather than being just regular tourists, they showed us the local lifestyle,. It was great!

Keep in mind that some applications require documents that take time to prepare, like personal essays, school transcripts, letters of recommendation, or health records. It’s impossible to get these documents at the last minute, so make sure to schedule your time and prepare.

5. Last but not least, I’m now bilingual💬

Earning a degree in your second language is quite the accomplishment, if you ask me. These days, being able to communicate in a foreign language is a must. Although I had strong English communication abilities before I moved in 2006, I wasn't fully bilingual. But now I am, thanks to studying in the United States. Being totally immersed in the culture of your second language helps tremendously. It’s a very efficient way to become fluent.

Also, being fluent in English is useful for traveling. While in Thailand, I obtained a certificate for Teaching English as a Foreign Language, which allowed me to earn money while being on the move. Pretty neat, right?

These are just some of the ways studying in the US has changed my life. Of course, this is based on my own experience; everyone's journey is different. But when people ask me if I would do it again, I say absolutely!

Share below👇 with us how studying abroad has changed your life.

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