Teens benefit by traveling abroad

Emma Sprague, Reporter

Freshman year of high school was very intimidating, but traveling the world as a 15 year old proved to me that high school is nothing compared to the big, bad world that most people at our age will never be able to experience.

In June of 2016, I went on an EF tour. This tour particularly went to England, France, Germany, Austria and Prague. I can honestly say it was one of the best experiences of my life. The trip was not only a vacation, but also a language immersion trip. I’m currently in German 4, and while I was in Germany and Austria, I got to see German in action. People were constantly conversing all around me. Traveling during high school can be very beneficial for this reason alone: The Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition found that language immersion students become more developed speakers. These students also develop higher levels of bilingualism.  

Alcohol is a very important piece of culture in Europe. Being able to drink as a 15 year old was not only exhilarating, but a learning experience as well. Many things are done differently in Europe. For example accessing water is not as easy as it is here. Deodorant is also very different. I personally believe European deodorant does not work as well.  These two items are essential for teenagers, especially the deodorant.

After returning from my amazing trip, I started to realize all of the other benefits that came out of it. I personally believe that if one is able, traveling in high school is very beneficial and it will help to improve multiple aspects of life.

According to a study done by the University of California, 96 percent of students that have studied abroad claim to have an increase of self confidence. My dad went to Europe with me, so I had someone to rely on. Other students on the trip weren’t as lucky. Most of them did not have parents with them, so they had to deal with their own money and they had to go through customs. If my dad had not gone, I most likely would have gained at least some self confidence because of the responsibilities  that would have been put on my shoulders.

Traveling in high school not only allows students to witness foreign languages, but it also allows them to experience culture. Seeing the so called “foreigners” in their natural environment is such an amazing experience. The small and almost pointless things we do on the daily can seem so interesting to an outsider. When one is thrown into a foreign place full of unfamiliarity they can get culture shock. I went through this culture shock, but it was the only downside of the sensational trip that turned out to be a worthwhile experience.