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    Posted March 13, 2014 by
    Loch Sheldrake, New York
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Why study abroad? Ask Michelle Obama

    Study Abroad Benefits


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     historymom studied abroad in Oxford, England, when she was a junior in college, and she credits living in another country to helping her appreciate the U.S. even more. "This is something I would have never learned in the classroom," she said. Her son is now 13, and she's already encouraging him to study abroad when he goes to college. "He's not sure, but I have a few years to discuss it with him"
    - Verybecoming, CNN iReport producer

    In 1990, I studied in Oxford, England in the fall semester of my junior year of college. It was a GREAT experience that I highly recommend. I was able to travel around Europe during the semester. I traveled to Spain, Ireland, Scotland, the Netherlands, and all over England. Naturally as a history major, I loved going to see all of the historic sites in Europe. The experience enhanced my history degree!

    I tell my 13 year-old son that he too should study abroad in college. The most valuable lesson I received from this experience is a new appreciation of the U.S. I tell my son that there is no better way to appreciate your home nation than to leave it. I returned home a different person with a new-found appreciation of America.

    Although I enjoyed my time in Europe, I found that I really missed my homeland and all the privileges, luxuries and opportunities we enjoy here. Don't believe it? Try to live in another nation for 5 or 6 months and see if the experience changes your perception of the U.S. I bet it will....
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