WHY DO STUDENTS TRAVEL?
Travel is more fashionable than ever, and students are riding this ever-growing wave!
Student, academic or linguistic trips are considered an important plus in a CV, having been away from home for a period of time, getting to know other cultures and languages is a must and families know it. Many make great efforts to provide their children with these opportunities to travel and broaden their horizons: from high school to ERASMUS programs.
Recently, I met with some American students and they told me what they expected to do their exchange in Barcelona, some of their intentions were fulfilled others were not, here is a summary of the 5 most relevant points of the interview about what led them to travel and study in another country:
What were the reasons you decided to travel to another country?
1. GET OUT OF THE COMFORT ZONE
In the case of the American students, getting out of their comfort zone, taking advantage of the opportunity their university gave them to travel was what made them decide to pack their bags.
They wanted to know how people lived in Spain, to know the culture, the country and its people. They were able to make friends with Spanish students after a few weeks in Spain by attending a university with other Spanish students. Students who stay with host families tend to have an easier time integrating as the family can help and advise them. Attending a school or university with students from the country is also another important way to adapt and meet students, although ideally you should be able to meet and contact them before arriving in the host country.
2. TO KNOW THE CULTURE OF THE COUNTRY
The family where these students stayed was not the typical family they would have liked and they did not have the opportunity to get to know the country hand in hand with their hosts. Undoubtedly the best way to get to know how life is in the host country is to live in a family that accepts and welcomes you as one of their own. It gives the student an unintentional taste of the culture and traditions of their country: they will eat typical local food, experience the customs first hand and can show them the most emblematic places that rarely appear in the tourist guides.
Each country has its own singularities, and getting to know them from the hand of a local has no comparison.
3.TO BE ABLE TO TRAVEL WITHIN THE COUNTRY OR TO OTHER NEARBY COUNTRIES.
All students seek to make the most of their time abroad, my friends were no exception and were able to travel to Paris and Rome. The student who moves from one country to another wishes to continue learning and learning. He likes to take advantage of weekends or vacation periods to travel and move around: other countries, other cities, etc. Look for flexibility, comfort and support.
It is a stage of discovery and learning, of personal growth. For a student each year is a change of life, each course different from the previous one, new teachers, new subjects, that motivates him to improve, to turn over a new leaf and look for the best. Make new friends, meet new, different people. Getting to know yourself in new circumstances will shape your personality, make you tolerant and flexible.
My American students have had to deal with problems and circumstances that they would not have had in their own country, so no doubt they have taken with them a suitcase full of valuable experiences!
Getting away from home, changing rules, schedules or control is often what students who wish to travel to another country are looking for. The student seeks to experiment in order to continue growing, freedom is part of his personal growth, getting organized, waking up and “pulling one’s own chestnuts out of the fire” is part of acquiring that freedom.
You can see how several students from the University of Cantabria explain their personal experience.
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