Inspirational Study Abroad Quotes to Incite Your Wanderlust

by Julia Dunn

For those of us with wandering souls, nearly anything provokes a ravenous hunger to devour the world. Whether it’s childhood dreams of spending a semester abroad in Berlin or a new-found desire of exploring social issues in Peru, traveling is the backbone of our dreams. Studying abroad can be one of the most fulfilling experiences of a lifetime, and who says a little global curiosity is a bad thing?

Not the people cited below, that’s for sure. From the monk who founded Buddhism to current fiction writers, this group of influential intellectuals support your decision to spend the next semester (or year) overseas. With these inspirational quotes for study abroad, be prepared for your wanderlust to reach new levels, for the travel bug to start its jig, and for that transatlantic ticket to end up in your shopping cart. Ready to be swept away?

Climber on top of Yosemite National Park
It is better to travel well than to arrive. – Buddha

This Buddha quote stresses the importance of enjoying your time abroad, without focusing so much on a set destination. The real fun in studying abroad is in the unexpected moments, encounters, and discoveries you make on a whim. Buddha wants you to stress less about preconceived expectations or destination arrival; instead, relax and embrace spontaneity. Go with the flow. Whether it’s navigating a market in Turkey or figuring out the baffling bus connections in Bolivia, the journey there has the potential to teach you more than any any lesson plan.

Nobody can discover the world for somebody else. Only when we discover it for ourselves does it become common ground and a common bond and we cease to be alone. – Wendell Berry

Looking to make friends from Tokyo or connect with some local Kenyans? Go abroad (especially to off-the-beaten-path locations). The more you travel and learn about the world firsthand, the more you attach personal definitions to places and are able to build an international community with others. You’re less likely to be influenced by media’s tendency towards fear-mongering if you’ve established your own opinions about a group of people. The strength in community is quite powerful, for if you have friends across the world, Wendell Berry is right: you are no longer alone.

The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page. – Saint Augustine

What fun is it to stay on one page? No matter how great the scene is, re-reading the same snippet of a script over and over again is not going to get you very far…not to mention that the thrill of it is going to wear off. It’s hard to grow, meet new characters, see new settings, and develop a full story without turning the page. It might be daunting to make the turn (even more so when you find an empty page and you realize that it’s up to you to write it!), but that’s what gives life breadth, action, and a really cool plot. Attach purpose to every one of your study abroad footsteps, and soon you’ll have walked into the middle of an exciting chapter that leads to the next story.

Railway
I am not the same having seen the moon shine on the other side of the world. – Mary Anne Radmacher

Adapting to new places and lifestyles is one of the best ways to shape your identity, and knowing that people around the globe all see the same moon is incredibly unifying. Realizing that halfway across the world, where everything is new, and different, and strange, the moon high up above is shining with the same light back home- priceless comfort. Wanderlustful souls like ours are especially curious, they wanna see as many perspectives and angles as possible. This study abroad quote captures the transformative qualities of study abroad that have the power to challenge and change individuals. You might find yourself gazing, mesmerized, at the same moon, but through different eyes.

Traveling tends to magnify all human emotions. – Peter Hoeg

Those who decide to go abroad do so often with an intense mixture of feelings. From giddy anticipation to strong apprehension, from the high of arrival to the devastation of departure, your heart is going to be singing in all sorts of keys. Going abroad can evoke some pretty extreme emotions, since for many students, this is their first time adventuring solo in a new land.

However, while you may be scared out of your mind to leave familiarity for adventure, you will find that traveling is worth every bit of anxiety you may have faced in the days leading up to that au revoir. And pretty soon, you’ll be obsessing over that perfect pour of coffee or that golden sunshine in the grass with the same enthusiasm that you reserved for major events back home.

Travel is the only thing you do that makes you richer. – Anonymous

Traveling is endlessly rewarding, as most people afflicted by wanderlust know. The money you spend on travel is money spent on experiences, which cannot be substituted by material items (except maybe those pistachio macarons from Montpellier). Going abroad is a concrete way to expand your scope of understanding the world. Not only will you deepen your appreciation for new cultures and countries, but you’ll also become richer in knowledge and interpersonal skills that will benefit you for the rest of your life.

Worldmap
I’m not sure what I’ll do, but — well, I want to go places and see people. I want my mind to grow. I want to live where things happen on a large scale. – F. Scott Fitzgerald

For college students, it’s easy to grow roots on campus, since all the bare necessities of life can be found on the same few acres: school, food, housing, work, and entertainment. F. Scott Fitzgerald reminds us to break out of our respective bubbles, and to get out of the pattern of monotonous daily lives.

Would-be study abroad students value new places and all of its treasures: interesting people, vibrant cultural scenes, a wealth of rich history, a beautiful language, and often some fantastic food. They are also all about experiencing all of that on a bigger scale, where the same outside picnic between classes becomes a learning experience with invigorating company and new spices to entice the senses.

The impulse to travel is one of the hopeful symptoms of life. – Agnes Repplier

Metaphorically, calling wanderlust a symptom may be a pretty accurate characterization of the insatiable desire people have to travel. If we are to call it an ailment to crave exploration, it is a good disease to have. When life is complicated, challenging or unpredictable, traveling may represent a sign of hope for the future – a desire to learn, understand, bridge differences, and use resources from all over the world to create a universal solution. Instead of resigning ourselves to one lifestyle, we are ready to accept the challenge of growth and innovation. Forget the vaccination shots for this one!

We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us. – Anonymous

While some of us travel to secure a break from hectic lives, wanderlust-driven individuals travel for intellectual and emotional sustenance. Traveling abroad can be revitalizing for your mind, stimulating creativity and wonder. The spirit of studying abroad for many individuals is rooted in their love for excitement in life. You’ll feel more alive on a hike through Kenyan mountains or an outdoor play in Greece than you will cooped up in your university’s library. Filling your life with memories all over the world will mean having fabulous stories to tell friends and family later on in life… and who doesn’t want to be the inspiring storyteller?

Camera and photographs

Just think about it…all of this globe-trotting and international education might even inspire you to compose some of your own quotes about study abroad!

If your wanderlust level is high at this point, don’t hesitate to make a plan for your next study adventure! With some financial planning and logistical organizing, you’ll be sitting on a plane, boat, train, or tuk-tuk in no time, backpack in hand, and ready to learn all that the world has to offer.

This heaping dose of travel inspiration was written and contributed by our partner Uloop