Studying abroad offers a unique opportunity to grow academically, professionally, and personally while going on a once-in-a-lifetime adventure. In fact, choosing to study abroad can be one of the most enriching, fulfilling, interesting and educationally stimulating experiences of your entire life. In our world today, there are a variety of study abroad opportunities in almost every country, so studying in your dream land is easier now that it has ever been.
Immerse Yourself into a New Environment
There is nothing quite like being on your own in a foreign country. You will find that you have a better understanding and appreciation for the nation’s people and history. In today’s increasingly global society, it’s important to possess the skills to communicate across cultures – and this means understanding more than just a different language. Studying abroad helps you become familiar with the customs and traditions of the country in which you are studying, in addition to the language. By interacting with locals, you can develop an appreciation for the culture and its differences from your own.
You will have the opportunity to witness a completely new way of life. When you study abroad you will find incredible new foods, customs, traditions, and social atmospheres. Take this opportunity to expose yourself to the world. Branch out and learn about different places, different cultures and people. A benefit to studying abroad is the opportunity to discover yourself while gaining an understanding of a different culture. Being in a new place by yourself can be overwhelming at times, and it tests your ability to adapt to diverse situations while being able to problem solve.
Discover New Interests
Studying in a different country offers many new activities and interests that you may never have discovered if you’d stayed at home. You might find that you have an as-yet undiscovered talent for hiking, water sports, snow skiing, golf, or various other new sports you may never have tried back home. You’ll also have the chance to discover other new and exciting forms of entertainment. Plays, movies, dancing, nightclubs, and concerts are just a few activities that you can enjoy.
Making the Most of your Experience
For most students, this time may be the only opportunity they ever get to travel abroad for a long period of time. Eventually you will find a job and career, and the opportunity to study abroad may turn out to be a once in a life time opportunity. Take this opportunity to travel the world with no commitments but to study and learn about new cultures. Traveling abroad also helps to change one’s limited view of the world. You will learn how your home country fits into humanity, and through the eyes of a different culture, you can more precisely reflect upon your own culture. While learning another country’s traditions, you will understand the significance of keeping your own traditions alive while sharing them with others.
Create New Relationships and Networking
One of the biggest benefits of studying abroad is the opportunity to meet new lifelong friends from different backgrounds. While studying abroad, you will attend school and live with students from your host country. This gives you the opportunity to really get to know and create lasting relationships with your fellow students. After the study abroad program ends, make an effort stay in contact with your international friends. In addition to rewarding personal relationships, these friends can also be important networking tools later down the road.
Become More Independent
Studying abroad comes with its challenges which directly relate to the benefits of studying abroad. No matter where you end up, you will more than likely be out of your comfort zone as you face obstacles like homesickness, spending and budgeting foreign currency and simply living in a new, unfamiliar place. When you return home, your increased independence will be very useful – it can help you in your job search, at home, or in your day-to-day routines. You’ll most likely return home a wiser individual and ready to face any future challenges head on.
One major aspect of being an independent adult is having the ability to manage your own finances. Ex. familiarize yourself and understand how to manage your expenses will especially be beneficial when you no longer rely on the support of your family.
Employers are often looking for students who challenge themselves and learn from their experiences and value prospective candidates with international experience, foreign language skills, and the ability to communicate across cultures. Use your experience studying abroad to expand your set of abilities, and make these a determining factor that will separate you from the others in a pool of applicants. 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.
Discover a New Career Path
The experiences you take advantage of abroad can influence the rest of your life in regards to career goals. You will probably discover a new found passion which could influence your major or career path, or maybe you will decide you want to work abroad or learn a new language. One way to maintain an edge over the competitive work force is to continue you higher education overseas. Maybe you will decide to study towards a master’s or doctorate degree abroad.
Gain Interpersonal Skills
Employers may be interested in your personal growth and interpersonal skills, so do not discount your abroad experience because you were not in a professional setting. Your expertise in cross-cultural and interpersonal communication may become an asset when working on any multi-cultural team in the professional world. Studying abroad also shows employers that you are able to adapt to new settings, and aren’t afraid of change.