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While Arcadia is known for being one of the best schools in the nation for study abroad, not all students take advantage of the opportunity. For some, it can be because of expenses, fear, no time, or just not having the desire to do so.
However, when you’re at a University where more than half the people you know have studied abroad, you can sometimes feel a little left out. That being said, you are more than capable of getting a global experience on Arcadia’s campus in Glenside, Pa. Here are a few reasons why it’s okay if you choose not to study abroad.
While students who study abroad at Arcadia aren’t necessarily fluent in the language of the countries they are going to, that doesn’t mean that knowing the language or customs of the place isn’t helpful. By learning a second language here, you get to experience and learn a different culture without ever leaving the campus. This will not only help you at Arcadia, but in future jobs as well as instances where you may meet someone who doesn’t speak the same language as you.
We’ve all seen the pictures of when students study abroad, and there’s no arguing that they are gorgeous! However, there are tons of amazing spots on campus that are beautiful, where you can get just the right picture and chill for the day. My favorite spots include the water feature near Easton Cafe, literally any part of the Castle, the creek near the parking lot by Taylor Hall, and right on Haber Green.
Many people gain independence and diversity awareness while studying abroad, but you can also obtain this knowledge and experience at Arcadia. AU Lead sessions have taught me a lot about how to be a great leader and what it takes to do the right thing. There is also the Leadership Conference, held once a year, that’s jam-packed with lessons about leadership and how these skills can be applied to our daily lives.
With the IPAL program here at Arcadia, you can help an international student adjust to life in America and at Arcadia. You are teaching them, but in many ways they are teaching you. It’s a give-and-take experience that allows students to learn more about people outside of the Glenside community.
I had the opportunity to take Professor Matthew Heitzman’s Travel Literature class in the English Department a few semesters ago. In the class, we explored different places without even leaving the room. We read texts from Paris, France to Kentucky and Arkansas. Being able to do this from the comfort of my seat in Easton Hall was not only exciting, but eye-opening as well.
In the end, though, it’s all about what makes you happy and comfortable. You don’t need to feel like you have to go—maybe your time to go abroad isn’t until after college, or maybe you’ll never go at all, whether that’s by choice or other circumstance. But whatever the reason may be, you can always make an amazing learning experience out of wherever you go!