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Davis, California

Friday, July 12, 2024

A case for studying abroad

Everyone should consider studying abroad


By OWEN RUDERMAN — opruderman@ucdavis.edu


Choosing to study abroad was one of the best, most formative decisions I’ve ever made. Back in 2018, I took a semester-long trip to London through my community college. It was a big step for me — I didn’t know anyone else in the program, and it was the first time I had ever traveled alone. But I firmly believe that if I didn’t take the risk and study across the pond, I would not be here at UC Davis, and you would not be reading this.

That semester in London is the reason that I’m an English major, the reason I ended up at one of the top universities in the country and the reason that I’m the person I am today.

After my incredible experience studying abroad through my community college, I decided to do it again when I got to university. When I finally arrived at UC Davis, however, I found myself a little apprehensive. I was worried that I would lose some of the essential “Davis experience” if I left for an extended period of time. I was also concerned that I might not be able to find a program that could give me the classes I needed to graduate. Additionally, program fees are expensive; the cost alone can make many students feel like studying abroad is not an option.

Despite all my concerns, I decided to look into the programs that the Global Learning Hub offered, just in case there was something that could work for me. I was shocked by the number of programs that UC Davis offered in comparison to my community college. It really seemed like no matter what you were looking for, there would be a program for you.

For me, I had the opportunity to study abroad in Scotland this past summer. The class I took while I was there went toward my major, I was able to afford the program and I didn’t feel like I was jeopardizing my “Davis experience” since the program was just one month long. On top of all that, I made many new friends and had some of the best experiences of my life so far. 

I understand why some students might assume that studying abroad could never work for them, but if you’re at all interested, I highly recommend at least checking out the UC Davis Study Abroad website. They have extensive information about different programs, including internships and exchange programs. 

There is quite literally something for everyone, and even if the classes don’t exactly align with your requirements, your advisors can help you make it work. When I signed up for my program, I had already taken the class that would be taught, but the advisors were extremely helpful, and, in the end, the units ended up going toward my minor.

The Global Learning Hub website also has a helpful page dedicated to financial aid and scholarships. If you’re concerned about fees, you should see if there is a way to get some help paying for it. It’s possible that some students could end up with their trip completely paid for through aid and grants.

At the end of the day, traveling seems to be a passion for many of my fellow UC Davis students. So why not combine schooling with your passion? There is no better time than the present to start looking into studying abroad. Who knows? It might just change your life.


Written by: Owen Ruderman — opinion@theaggie.org

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by individual columnists belong to the columnists alone and do not necessarily indicate the views and opinions held by The California Aggie.