Why you should consider studying abroad

Logan Grubb in Berlin, Germany
Logan Grubb ’21 in local neighborhood Bergmannkiez during his study abroad trip to Berlin, Germany

Are you interested in studying abroad? Gettysburg College’s Center for Global Education will support your global study plans every step of the way.

You may have already made the difficult, but exciting decision about which college to attend. And yet, nearly two years after you arrive on campus, you might make another momentous decision about whether to study in a foreign country for a semester. I can promise you these decisions and life changes are all worth it.

Learn more about yourself and the world

Many Gettysburg College students find that studying abroad is a defining moment of their college careers. This is partly because our Center for Global Education (CGE) not only makes it easy to decide on which program to attend but also helps you iron out logistics. It supports each student in choosing from more than 100 affiliated programs on six continents. Whether you are looking to directly enroll in a local university, live with a host family, or immerse yourself in a language-intensive atmosphere, the staff at the Center for Global Education can help you find a program that fits your interests.

The individualized approach we take to our semester-long study abroad opportunities, and the fact that all financial aid transfers, certainly help explain why more than 60 percent of our students will choose to study abroad before they graduate. If studying abroad for an entire semester does not appeal to you, there are other short-term trips, such as immersion projects sponsored by our Center for Public Service.

Experience a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity

I was fortunate enough to study abroad in Berlin, Germany, during the fall of 2019. One of my once-in-a-lifetime memories includes seeing Yo-Yo Ma play live in concert with the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra at the Berlin Philharmonic.

I’ll also never forget what it felt like when I no longer needed my phone to get around the city. Something about being able to successfully navigate Berlin’s public transportation system without assistance made me feel like a resident of the city and not like a long-term tourist.

But don’t just take my word for it.

When asked about her study abroad experience, Bridget Kennedy ’21 said, “Making the decision to leave behind my comfortable life, heated water, and conventional shower here in America to live with a host family in the antique quarter of Rabat, Morocco, was one of the craziest yet most worthwhile decisions I have ever made.”

Grow and gain skills for future careers

Many students spend their semester abroad doing more than just a regular course load of classes. For example, I was able to intern at a big data consulting firm, AtomLeap, located in the heart of the Kreuzberg neighborhood. Some programs, such as those run by the School for International Training (SIT) abroad, build an independent research component into their programs.

“The opportunity to spend a month researching and learning about my host community was invaluable to my growth as a student,” Kennedy said. “The research paper I produced while in Morocco served as the basis of my graduate program applications and continues to be an accomplishment I am proud of.”

So, one piece of advice I would offer to every incoming Gettysburg student is to be open to the opportunity to study abroad. The adage that “study abroad changed me” is as true as it is cliché-sounding. Studying abroad in Berlin truly did change not only who I am as a student, but more importantly how I view the world—and it may do the same for you.

By Logan Grubb ’21
Photo courtesy Logan Grubb ’21
Posted: 04/29/21