Traveling to foreign country to spend weeks studying and traveling — challenging yourself and being forced out of your comfort zone — may not be for everyone. But I think it would be for me.

I’ve always thought studying abroad was something that sounded exciting. When I was a freshman at UND, I studied Spanish in hopes of becoming proficient enough to travel to Spain, learn the language from people who have spoken it for their entire lives and come back with an experience I would never forget.

It didn’t happen.

In fact, after two semesters of learning Spanish in college, I wasn’t able to continue to fit it into my schedule. I focused my attention toward my marketing degree and didn’t seriously consider studying abroad again. Why would I go to another country when I could just stay here where I was perfectly fine and comfortable?

I still don’t have a good enough reason. It’s never easy to look past opportunities; and when it’s one such as studying abroad, I don’t know if I could pass it up. Learning Spanish is not a requirement for traveling to many countries. I crave to see other parts of the world and learn from individuals with a different mindset than my own. Many people will study abroad simply for the fun and adventure — and I don’t see why they shouldn’t — but I think it’s important to realize what they might gain from such an experience.

I’ve done some traveling, but I’ve never stayed in one place for over a week. I think it’s so easy for people to believe they know so much about a place after a short vacation. They do, but by spending an extensive amount of time in that place, it could take on a new meaning.

Why limit yourself when you have all of these opportunities sitting right in front of you that you may never get again in your life?

I could be wrong  — but I would like to find out for myself.