Your independence soars.  (Yup like I said about living in NYC). Sitting at a café and having a coffee alone?  Sure, why not?  People watching in another country is so much fun.  It makes you appreciate things.  Sometimes, when you don't know the language it makes you feel like you are in a bubble.  In a good way.  It's kinda like an outer body experience.


TransportationYou learn how to navigate the transportation system.  Cars, buses, trains, planes, boats, etc.  It becomes a game.  A game of learning.  Of using your senses.  Maybe you don't know the language, but you can deduce where the entrance and exit is.  Where the bathroom is.  Where the airport is.  This is why reading is important.  If you can't read your own language, what the hell are you going to do if you end up somewhere with a different one?  Pictures also help


You experience a totally different lifestyle.  In my case, I was in Spain.  They appreciate rest and relaxation.  They have siesta.  AN AFTERNOON MANDATORY NAP TIME.  Say what?!  They appreciate wholesome foods.  Kids aren't kicked out of the house at 18 years old.  They pretty much stay home until they get married, no matter what age that is.  I lived with a woman whose kids were still there or came back after a divorce, around the age of 30.  In fact, I felt "at home" in Spain.


You experience different food!  Have I mentioned that?  Eating the same crap everyday gets really boring, no?  Open your mind, open your palate, enjoy life!


LanguagesBack to different languages.  You are exposed to new ones.  Learning new languages opens doors to communicating with more people.  I love languages.  I sometimes find myself asking people what language they are speaking, when it clearly isn't English or Spanish (those I know).  I'm not sure if people are offended, but I do it solely because I am so interested in it.  The translation is not always equal.  That is what's so cool about it.  People say things differently but mean the same thing.  Wow!


Architecture.  Architecture.  Architecture.  I'm from the United States, one of the "newest" countries.  Visiting older countries, like Spain, I have seen some fantastic old designs.  Building design, street design, etc.  So intriguing.


Studying, say, International Business in a language that is not yours can be difficult, but it forces you to really pay attention.  Your parents may like this reason.


Being alone in another country forces you to come out of your comfort zone.  You learn how to interact with people you don't know.  You learn how to ask for help.  You learn how to do so many things that sitting at home on your mom's couch will never allow you to.  You grow as a person.


You learn how to be a more compassionate person.  Seeing the lives of those who contrast with ours, allows you to appreciate it.  There is not one way to do things.  There are many!  If you put a person who has been out of their neighborhood next to someone who has never left, you will clearly see the benefits of the prior.


Did I mention, you may find a way of life that mirrors your mind more than your current one?  Siesta?  Whole foods?  These are some that Spain offered to me.  I appreciate relaxation.  It leads to better production.  I appreciate wholesome foods.  In the U.S., it is only a new concept that is being reborn.  Microwave meals and sugary drinks have been the norm.  No wonder Americans feel and look like shit.


Go sign up!  Have your kids sign up!  Have your best friend sign up!  It is, single-handedly, the best investment that myself and my parents ever made.  Buen Viaje!  Safe travels!



---Torre Del Oro, in Seville, Spain--->


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