Why You Should Study Abroad
One of the most important things I did in college was studying abroad. It is one of the most enriching and unforgettable experiences of my college life. Some US universities have already included study abroad as a requirement for graduation. However, if you need the extra nudge to embark on this adventure, here are just five reasons why studying abroad is worthwhile.
Studying abroad allows you to experience a different type of education. The ability to adapt to various teaching methods will help you easily adjust to different management styles, giving you an edge in a competitive job market.
With each university offering a unique set of classes based on their location and type of school, through the study abroad program, you will be able to enroll in classes not offered at your home institution.
A lot of students struggle with being independent and away from home. If you decide to give studying abroad a shot, you will learn how to live by yourself. Tasks like opening a bank account, negotiating with the school administration and professors, or going to the doctor will enhance your leadership, communication, and cultural competence skills.
The whole experience can be overwhelming, you are after all surrounded by unfamiliar people and customs, but after a year or semester abroad you will learn how to tolerate ambiguity and quickly adapt to changing circumstances.
Meet New People
Probably the best part of studying abroad - meeting new people. While away, you will meet people from all sorts of backgrounds. You will be spending most of your days with them, either studying or living together. Before you know it, they will become your new family.
Some of the friendships/connections you make can even lead to career opportunities, such as business partnerships or job/internship offers. Thus, the wider your network, the greater the chances you will get connected to an exciting new opportunity.
Of course, a couch to sleep on whenever you visit their home country is a plus.
A study conducted by The Institute of International Education (IIE), indicates that employers nowadays are looking for employees who can easily adapt to rapidly changing environments and know how to communicate with people who might not share the same beliefs. Studying abroad can facilitate the development of these transferable skills.
If you are adding working knowledge of a foreign language to your resume, that will greatly increase your hiring ability with US companies that are looking to expand internationally.
Yangon, Burma (Myanmar)
The biggest reason you should consider studying abroad is the opportunity to travel. You will get to experience a new culture and customs, see landmarks and museums, even participate in festivals and activities specific to that country.
And while abroad, why wouldn't you want to visit neighboring countries, as well?
For most students, studying abroad is once in a lifetime opportunity to stay abroad for an extended period and make long-lasting memories. The experience undoubtedly shapes who you are and how you view the world. So, if you can study abroad, take the chance and don't look back! Chances are it will be one of the best decisions you ever made.
Did you study abroad? Do you agree with our list? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org
Born and raised in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Selma is currently studying Business Administration and Global Studies at Hood College. While she was always passionate about traveling, she caught the travel bug through Semester at Sea, a study abroad program. So far, she has visited four continents and 30 countries, mostly in Europe and Asia.