I lived abroad for most of my life by the time I left for college, so I had no real plans on studying abroad… because I had already done it.

But when my Italian professor pulled me aside and said, “I want you to go on this summer program to Italy, because I know this is something you can take off with,” I thought, why not! After six wonderful weeks in a small coastal town in Italy that made me fall in love with the language, the culture, and more, I was glad I went. Some people may laugh off a summer/short-term program as a vacation, but here’s why I think summer is the best time to see the world.

  1. It’s the only FOMO-Free Option
    I was super involved on campus and worried I would miss an event or a meeting or just something cool happening with my group of friends. By studying abroad in the summer, when most people are off-campus and doing their own thing for a few months, you can get out and have your own incredible experiences without missing out on any of the great things happening back home!
     
  2. You Get A Lot Done Quickly
    Depending on your study abroad program, you can receive anywhere from 3-12 credits over the course of a few weeks to two months. That’s almost a whole semester of classes in half the time! This lets you have more flexibility back at your home school to take the classes you need (or want) to take. Plus, it doesn’t feel as intensive as a full semester’s work (and it’s more fun).

     

  3. Summer Weather
    In most semester programs, you experience a little bit of winter. If you go on a summer program, it’s all sunshine, as you’re there in the middle of summer or the end of spring. Many places (particularly in Europe) have most of their festivals and big events over the summer, and these are so fun to take part in.
     
  4. Costs Less
    Because you are there for a shorter period of time, summer programs are (usually) significantly cheaper. If you are on a budget, check out summer programs; they’re often a fraction of the cost for the same life changing experience.
     
  5. You Can Do So Much More
    Because summer programs are short and, in most countries, you can stay for 90 days without a visa, if you plan it right you can head over a little before or stay after and see the rest of your host country. This is great to plan out with friends or even to meet up with your family and keep the good times going. You’ll always be hungry for more travel after your program!

Alex Henderson is an Admissions Counselor at CEA Study Abroad, an organization that helps students spend a semester, a summer, or an academic year studying abroad in 12 countries. Where will your learning take you?

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