“It will change your life. You’ll come back a new person.”
For years, the benefits of study abroad have been described in these words. Everyone in the study abroad field believed it could greatly impact a student’s life, but the exact long-term benefits were unknown – until now.
The first large-scale survey to explore the long-term impact of study abroad on a student’s personal, professional, and academic life shows that study abroad positively and unequivocally influences the career path, world-view, and self-confidence of students. (http://www.iesabroad.org/ )
Studying abroad offers a unique opportunity to grow academically, professionally, and personally while going on a once-in-a-lifetime adventure. There are a number of other benefits to studying abroad; however, there are also numerous challenges. Consider the pros and cons, and decide if studying abroad may be right for you.
So, Why Should I Study Abroad ?
- 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!
- Personal Growth
While studying abroad, you will be given the opportunity to further your academic study in a foreign country with so many unique programs, it may be easy to find a good fit for your personality and goals. Take this opportunity to expose yourself to the world. Branch out and learn about different places, different cultures and people. Not only could you surround yourself with a new network of global friends, but you may learn about yourself by indulging in a new and exciting lifestyle. Globalizing yourself may help you understand how you, as an individual, fit into this world.
- Improve Your Second Language Skills
You may already be fluent in a second language, or you might study abroad in one of the many countries where English is spoken as a first language. However, studying abroad can provide you with a perfect opportunity to learn a new foreign language.
- Broaden Your Experience
It’s easy to have a limited view of the world we live in, but international travel can relieve you of this. 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.
- Find New Interests
If you are still questioning why to study abroad, you should know that 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.
- Network for Your Future
In addition to making friends, you can also form professional contacts while abroad. Generally speaking, course loads tend to be comparatively lighter while studying abroad, so this can be an ideal occasion to intern, work part-time, or volunteer while you’re studying. 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.
- Manage Your Own Finances
One major aspect of being an independent adult is having the ability to manage your own finances. Furthermore, living in a new country also forces you to learn to understand a new form of currency, and familiarize yourself with the various living expenses. Understanding how to manage your expenses will especially be beneficial when you no longer rely on the support of your family.
- Become More Independent
Studying abroad removes you from the normal support network that you are accustomed to back home. While on the one hand, being away from friends and family can seem daunting, it is also a chance for you to hone your own skills and gain some independence.
- Take the Challenge
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. These may seem like small feats now, but in retrospect you’ll be proud of the accomplishments you have overcome. You’ll most likely return home a wiser individual and ready to face any future challenges head on.
- Pursue an Activity You Wouldn’t at Home
Studying abroad is a chance for you to be adventurous, explore the unknown, and try your hand at activities that may not be offered in your home state. For example, if you’re studying abroad in Argentina, you can try numerous adventure sports, from zip-lining, to rafting, to mountain biking.
- Graduate School Admissions
Like future employers, graduate school admissions boards look very highly on study abroad experiences. Students that study abroad display diversity and show that they aren’t afraid to seek out new challenges or put themselves in difficult situations.
Most importantly, students who have studied abroad show just how committed they are to their education. Graduate schools regularly look for candidates who will bring a unique aspect to their university. Students who have studied abroad have shown that they have the curiosity and educational acumen to be a leader in graduate school.
- Increase Your Employment Prospects
Employers value prospective candidates with international experience, foreign language skills, and the ability to communicate across cultures. If you’re interested in pursuing a career in international relations, diplomacy, or government, these skills will be especially useful.
- 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.
So what are you waiting for ? it’s time to you to get many memorable and touchable experience in abroad. Change your life! Make a decision to get out from your comfort zone. Try international experience and make your life more fun!