When I was a student at Colgate University, I had an absolutely unfathomable number of incredible opportunities open to me, from world-class musical performances that I could attend for free, to unparalleled technological access. But the thing I most appreciate in retrospect is the opportunity to not only travel, but to learn abroad.

Sure, technically I can travel whenever I want now that I’m a full-fledged adult with a degree. But it is not easy carving time out from work, money out from a budget, and opportunity away from wedding invitations, visitation obligations, and the desire to simply take a break at times. Plus, even if I could travel now, I’d be relegated purely to tourist status. As a student, often traveling with a class (or at least a curriculum in mind), you are perfectly positioned to come away with historical lessons, cultural insight, and a life-changing experience.

Luckily, I was smart enough to travel while I could! I encourage any student currently on the fence about studying abroad to stop considering, and make this commitment: if you have the financial means to do so: study abroad. And if you don’t have the financial means: save money, work extra hours, and try to make a go of it. There’s never a better time.

As proof of the value you’ll derive, I’ve gathered some of my favorite images from my travels during college, which led me to a whole host of awesome places, listed below. Check out the gallery to see how in my travels I was exposed to history, differences in cultures, and found new friends all over the world. And with parents able to come visit, we made memories exploring the world together to last a lifetime.

  • London (and other English cities)
  • Wales
  • Scotland
  • Naples, Florence, and Rome Italy (including Pompeii and Herculaneum)
  • Geneva, Zermatt, and Montreux, Switzerland
  • Paris, France
  • Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and Kyoto Japan
  • Quito and the volcanoes of Ecuador
  • Easter Island, Chile

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