WHY SHOULD STUDENTS STUDY ABROAD?
Why Study Abroad: A Personal Decision
As cliché as it sounds, by studying abroad you will become a much worldlier person, and become more marketable to grad schools and employers because of the intangible life skills you’re going to pick up along the way. Think of it as gaining a sort of cultural capital. The fact that you’ve studied abroad will answer many people’s questions about what type of person you are even before they have to ask.
You want culture? Perhaps one of the best ways to experience culture is to live it, which is exactly what you’ll be doing as a study abroad student. Aside from gaining an understanding for cultures other than your own, you will also gain intangible skills (another great selling point for Mom and Dad). Independence, time management, organization, social skills and self-confidence, just to name a few, will all develop exponentially while you’re abroad.
There will be a moment while abroad when you’ll realize that you’ve made the right decision: Treasure that moment. Mine was on a beach in Spain during a one-week vacation in November. There I was, shirt and shoes off, staring into the 75 degree Mediterranean Sea thinking about how all my friends were in class, possibly bored out of their minds and probably freezing in the cold New England weather.
That moment will come when all the stress from the first few weeks of getting acclimated is finally over, and it’s at that point that you will fully grasp what you’re doing, the magnitude of your decision to go abroad and your new found drive to take advantage of every opportunity that lay ahead of you.
Benefits to Studying Abroad
1. See the World
The biggest reason you should consider a study abroad program is the opportunity to see the world . By studying abroad, you will experience a brand-new country with incredible new outlooks, customs and activities. The benefits of studying abroad include the opportunity to see new terrains, natural wonders, museums and landmarks of your host nation.
In addition, when you’re abroad, you won’t be limited to traveling in just the nation in which you are studying – you can see neighboring countries as well! For example, if you study in France, you’ll have the option to travel through various parts of Europe including London , Barcelona , and Rome.
Another reason you might consider studying abroad is for the chance to experience different styles of education. By enrolling in a study abroad program, you’ll have the chance to see a side of your major that you may not have been exposed to at home.
You’ll find that completely immersing yourself in the education system of your host country is a great way to really experience and understand the people, its traditions, and its culture. Education is the centerpiece of any study abroad trip—it is, after all, a study abroad program and choosing the right school is a very important factor.
3. Take in a New Culture
Many students who choose to study abroad are leaving their home for the first time. When they arrive in their new host country, they are fascinated by the distinct cultural perspectives. When you study abroad you will find incredible new foods, customs, traditions, and social atmospheres.
You will find that you have a better understanding and appreciation for the nation’s people and history. You will have the opportunity to witness a completely new way of life.
4. Hone Your Language Skills
Chances are if you’re planning on studying abroad, one of the major draws is the opportunity to study a foreign language. Studying abroad grants you the opportunity to completely immerse yourself in a new language, and there is no better way to learn than to dive right in.
In addition to the considerable language practice you will get just in day to day life, your host university will likely offer language courses to provide you with a more formal education. Immerse yourself in a new culture and go beyond a purely academic experience
5. Career Opportunities
When you finish your study abroad program and return home, you will return with a new perspective on culture, language skills, a great education, and a willingness to learn. Needless to say, all of these are very attractive to future employers.
Many students find that they love their host country so much that they decide to seek work there. If you can relate, you will find that a local education will be very valuable when searching for a potential job in that country.