Have you ever considered studying abroad, but couldn’t recognize the added value of it? If you take some time to ask people who have done it, they will certainly tell you that it is a very rewarding experience. Here are eight reasons that will make you consider this challenge:
1. Studying abroad will allow you to learn a foreign language. The most effective way to learn a new language is to be surrounded by the culture that speaks it. Especially if the level of English in the country is relatively low, you will be forced to communicate in another language and by that, improve your foreign language skills.
2. Makes it easier to travel. Academic breaks and public holidays make it possible to explore your new surroundings. Studying abroad often takes place on a different continent; this is a great opportunity to visit places you never thought you’d reach. Sometimes study abroad programs involve planned field trips as part of the curriculum.
3. Helps you develop personal skills that you cannot develop anywhere else. The thought of leaving your home country and moving alone to a new place with a different culture might be stressful at first; though exciting at the same time. Studying abroad will give you the opportunity to discover new abilities, face new challenges and solve problems that were unfamiliar to you before. You will learn how to adapt to a new environment and find effective ways to deal with a variety of situations, from the everyday to the unusual.
4. Gives you the opportunity to make friends from around the world. While studying abroad, you are most likely to meet fellow international students, besides the local students. Most international students share a lot in common, the distance from home, language barrier and adaptation; it makes your experience much easier and more enjoyable.
5. Helps you to learn about yourself. Students who study abroad and then return home, usually have new ideas and perspectives about their own culture and about themselves as individuals. Your encounter with a different culture enables you to develop a new point of view. You usually become more self aware and tend to compare your culture and others; this provides you with a broader perspective on the world.
6. Breaks your academic routine. Study abroad will provide you with a different academic experience. You will be exposed to a new education system and will have the opportunity to follow different courses which are not offered at your home university.
7. Exposes you to more employment opportunities. Companies from all over the world invest in the international market. From the point of view of an international company, a student who has studied abroad is more likely to integrate better into an international business environment. Your study abroad experience might grant you an advantage over others when applying for a job.
8. Adds academic value to your degree. In many cases, studying abroad can make the graduation process easier. The programs differ from one country to another; and sometimes, programs abroad offer more academic credits for the same amount of courses/academic hours as a program at home. Not only can you graduate earlier, but also gain international experience while studying.
What would you add to this list? Have you studied abroad? What made you want to? Let us know in the comments below!