Rethinking What Education Should Look Like

Even though many generations regret not studying abroad, teens today still do not think about studying abroad in college.

Cody Bowers, Staff Writer

Education is a large part of a teenager’s life, and most teens will automatically think of school and grades when they hear the term education. However, education should be much more than what we learn in the classroom.

Out of 2,100 adults in the UK, 54 percent of them stated that they regretted not traveling internationally in their young adult lives, according to a poll conducted by Populus. Likewise, it seems that many adults today here in America have the same regret.

Cody Bowers
Kim Bowers

“All the time, it would have been… I think it would have been a crucial piece of my story in that time and season of my life,” my mom, Kim, said.

Even though my mom has traveled outside the country multiple times, she still regrets not studying abroad.

Kim continued, stating, “to travel and study somewhere in a different country with a different culture even maybe a different language I think would have definitely impacted my life greatly.”

Although many wish they prioritized abroad programs, traveling, or just exploring different cultures in their college life, high schoolers looking into colleges tend to overlook the importance of abroad programs.

“Getting into a good college is very important because it will further my understanding of the world and help me understand overall… our natural universe and existence through higher education,” Tommy Ashworth, a sophomore at Woodside High School, said.

He’s an intelligent student who is hoping to get into a prestigious school through many rigorous courses such as Advanced Placement (AP) classes.

To travel and study somewhere in a different country with a different culture even maybe a different language… would have definitely impacted my life greatly.”

— Kim Bowers

“I would say my travel experience really helped my education as a whole, as to who I am, what I am, and what I understand, more so than understanding math and science,” Ashworth said.

Tommy Ashworth

Ashworth has been outside the country a few times but agrees that traveling is a very fulfilling and an educational experience that may have even produced more value than some of his classes at school.

Ashworth stated, “I understand more cultural things and societal things from other people and traveling.”

Many high schoolers who have traveled internationally tend to agree that their experience provided a unique and nuanced perspective that the classroom cannot provide. However, traveling abroad in college is not a concern or thought for many.

“It’s a fun adventure and I get to explore things that I don’t see very often,” Cole Bowers explained.

Cole and myself both share similar beliefs when it comes to what a successful education means to us.

Cody Bowers
Cole Bowers

“I gain the knowledge of the history of like the countries and like the cities and all of that and I gain just kinda like the adventure or the memory of that place,” Cole said.

From my perspective, a successful education is more than what type of classes you take and what grades you get. Your experience with people, culture, and other settings that are outside your comfort zone are a significant part of what accumulates to your education.

For Woodside Paw Print, I’m Cody Bowers.

Cody Bowers
Cody Bowers