When I was in college I spent a summer studying abroad in London. It was an incredible experience not only because I learned a lot, met some cool people, and got to study British literature in the places where it was actually written, but also because it provided me with a jump-off point to travel all over Western Europe.
That’s one of the greatest things about studying in western Europe – everything is right there! You can study in Germany, and hop on a train one weekend to go to Amsterdam. Or you can study in Paris and catch the Chunnel (now faster than ever!) and spend the day in London.
The best part is that it’s really easy to find an international program for studying abroad in Western Europe. They’ve got all the most popular hotspots like Barcelona, London, Munich, and Paris, so you know there will be programs available.
No matter where you go to college, you can be sure that there are programs in Western Europe to choose from. In California, UCLA’s Education Abroad Programs (http://www.international.ucla.edu) include France, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, as well as the UK and Ireland. Of course, they also offer loads of programs in Asia, the middle east and Africa. On the East Coast, The University of Maryland (http://www.international.umd.edu) has programs all over Western Europe as well, including Sevilla, Spain (one of my favorite places ever!) and Berlin, Germany. Of course, these are just a couple of examples of universities with study abroad opportunities in Western Europe – you should check with your Education Abroad Department or your councilor to see what your school has available.
Even if you happen to go to some small school that doesn’t have any Study Abroad programs, you can often apply for a program through another school and transfer the credits when you return home. Ask your councilor or study abroad adviser what options you have.
So go study abroad! Western Europe is a great place to travel and study, especially for travel newbies. It’s easy, safe, fun, and educational! I’ll see you there!