Study Abroad Spotlight

Miles Shen

Miles Shen is pursuing a triple major in Business Analytics, Economics and Finance. Miles is also a Levine and Belk Scholar.

5 Benefits of Study Abroad

I have always had a love for traveling.  Traveling allows me to develop an appreciation for culture, religion, art, language and an array of diversity.  Although I have traveled for leisure in the past, I decided that I need to pair my love for travel with my love for learning.  Upon persuing various travel abroad programs offered by UNC Charlotte, I found a mesmerizing destination.  Israel. Although I had visited Israel many years ago, I went as a tourist.  This time, I wanted to go as an archaeologist! 

I spent countless hours in the city of Jerusalem and was a part of an official excavation.  We found beautiful relics and priceless historical objects on the “dig” site.  It was rewarding for me; I knew that I was one of the first people to literally touch history. 

There are so many different benefits to studying abroad. These are five of my benefits:

It teaches you to adapt to your surroundings. 

Going abroad allowed me to explore Jerusalem to the fullest. While living in the city for three weeks, I knew shortcuts through the city, the best places to eat, and the most exciting attractions.

It allows you to learn about another culture. 

After studying abroad in Israel and listening to the stories and lives of both Jews and Palestinians, I have a newfound appreciation and understanding of these unique and diverse people.

It forces you to try new things and potentially find new interests. 

I had never eaten falafel or shawarma before this trip. I can now confidently say that I love both falafel and shawarma.

It gives you the chance to make everlasting connections. 

Our group dug together, ate together, and explored together. Spending day in and day out with everyone brought us very close together, and by the end, we had become a little study abroad family.

It is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. 

The Mount Zion dig site was hands down the most memorable and unique experience of my life so far. I will never forget the first coin I dug up or the hundreds of pieces of pottery unearthed.

If you ever get the opportunity to study abroad -- do it. When beginning your search for a study abroad program, have an open mind, don’t be afraid to ask questions and remember that the experience is what you make of it. You may have to dig deep to find a program that works best for you, but once you find the right one, it will make all the difference in your study abroad and overall college experience.