The Benefits of Studying Abroad: Why you SHOULD do it!
In today’s globalized world, studying abroad has become a worldwide phenomenon. Why is that? Because studying abroad is an invaluable experience, whether it is just for a trimester, a semester, or an entire year. The immersion into a new culture and a new way of life transform both the student's personal and professional life. Hence, it is one of the most life-changing travel experiences that you can seek!
Are you considering studying abroad but still not sure? Here are 9 concrete benefits that will help make your decision easier! We both met during our Master’s Program abroad, and it changed our lives forever (in a positive way). We wouldn't be where we are today without this experience. Looking back, it was probably one of the most exciting and memorable years of our lives!
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Now, let's count down the benefits of studying in another country!
1. Being able to travel and explore the world
The foremost benefit of studying abroad is very simple... you have the chance to travel and explore the world! While other students are stuck in the routine college life at home, you'll be exploring a brand-new country with new customs, food, nature, landmarks, museums, and activities. Doesn't that sound amazing?
In addition, you will also be able to travel around to nearby cities and sometimes even other countries. Especially when studying abroad in Europe, it is easy to catch a flight, train, or bus to neighboring countries. For example, if you are studying in Amsterdam, you'll have the option to travel during the weekends through various parts of Europe including Paris, Brussels, London, and Berlin. This means you'll be constantly experiencing new destinations and cultures. And you will undoubtedly gain a better understanding of the world we live in, which will transform both your world view and personality.
2. Improve your language skills or learn a new language
The residents of a foreign country will most likely speak a different language than you, which is also one of the principal reasons why students decide to study abroad. You'll probably choose France if you want to learn French, Spain for Spanish, or Germany for German. Studying abroad gives you the opportunity to entirely indulge yourself in the new language, which is proven to be the most effective and fast way to learn! This is because, in addition to the classroom, you will be able to practice it in the day to day life. In this way, you'll go beyond a purely academic experience. Besides, speaking the local language also allows you to interact with the other culture on a much deeper level. You will get a much more profound experience than most travelers ever do!
3. Take in a new culture
Studying abroad is one of the best ways to fully comprehend a new culture. By living for an extended time in a foreign land, you will get to know the local customs, traditions, food, music, and social life. You will have the unique opportunity to immerse yourself and see how life is lived elsewhere. This is a truly enriching experience which will not only give you a deeper understanding, but also a greater appreciation for the nation's people, culture, and history. You'll develop a greater sense of how people think and feel as individuals, and better understand global issues and world events. This foreign land and culture will suddenly become your second home. And this new connection with the country and people from other cultures will make you a more well-rounded global citizen, which is especially important in today's global society.
4. Learn new things that cannot be taught in a classroom
In addition to speaking a new language and developing cultural understanding, you will learn a ton of other things that cannot be taught in a classroom! Think about social and communication skills, independence, confidence, among other life skills. This is because when you are living abroad, you have to fully rely on yourself. From figuring out how to use public transportation, to talking to complete strangers, to ordering a meal in the local language. It is a journey of self-discovery that will help you realize how capable you are. This ultimately translates into a new set of life skills upon returning home.
Besides, many study abroad programs combine in-the-field learning experiences that enhance and complement your classroom education. For example, visiting a historic site or landmark may add to your world history knowledge, or visiting an art museum may supplement your art studies.
5. Studying abroad looks good on your resume
As mentioned above, the skills you gain from studying abroad are endless. Hence, it doesn't come as a surprise that this experience looks good on your resume. Especially in today's global world, employers are increasingly looking for graduates with international experience and education. It is also harder to stand out these days as more and more young adults have obtained higher education. Studying abroad is one extra level of understanding that will help separate your resume from others.
While studying abroad, you will learn skills, understand other cultures, overcome challenges of living in a foreign country, and gain a better understanding of the world we live in. It's these things that companies look for when hiring, and such qualities will become even more important in the future as country borders become more open.
6. Discover yourself
Another benefit of studying abroad is that it will help you grow on a personal level. When living in a foreign country, you are stepping out of your comfort zone and constantly experiencing new things. From meeting people from different cultures to celebrating local traditions, and even figuring out the new school system. These situations will likely bring forth unique challenges to overcome. By adapting to these diverse situations, you will discover your own strengths and weaknesses. You will start to better understand yourself. Even more, this experience may change your view on life and the world. The things you learn may transform your own beliefs on how to live life and open your mind to a host of new possibilities in life.
7. Make friends all over the world
Studying abroad is one of the most rewarding and memorable experiences in your life because of the social connections you make along the way. No matter which country you choose, you're sure to meet tons of interesting people and make friends from all over the world. Research has even shown that people tend to find lifelong friends while studying abroad. That being said, it is very easy to make friends in study abroad programs thanks to the social events and activities that are offered. There will be many other international students who are in the same boat as you. Hence, it is easier to connect and make friends with them. You'll be able to live, learn, and travel together during your program. Even more, you will get to chance to learn about their different countries, cultures, and customs. Being all from different corners of the world, it is guaranteed to be an interesting and exciting time!
Besides, these friendships may be beneficial even after returning home. Knowing people from all around the world may present you with the opportunity to visit them in the future. Not only can they be your local travel guide, but they also might offer free accommodation.
8. Find new interests and passions
As stated before, studying abroad gets you outside of your comfort zone and lets you try out unique things. By engaging in new activities, you may discover new interests and passions. For example, you might find out that you have a passion for hiking in the mountains, water sports, snowboarding, or trying out foreign recipes. You may have never tried any of these back at home because you never had the chance to try it.
When we studied abroad, we found our passion for hiking and nature. Being from Belgium, a very flat country, hiking never seemed exciting or enticing to me. However, this changed when I lived near the mountains while studying abroad. The massive mountains and unspoiled nature suddenly intrigued me. A new passion was born...
9. Gain independence
The final benefit of studying abroad is that you will gain independence. By going to university in another country, you cannot rely on your parents, friends, and family at home anymore. You are by yourself and have to make the best of this situation. You need to settle in your new home, make friends with strangers, and figure out the logistics of your trip and university. It may seem challenging at first, but you will soon get the hang of it. And this newfound independence is a success formula for your future career!
Want to learn more about how travel can change your life? Read our benefits of traveling article!
We would love to hear where you are thinking of studying abroad. What is your country of choice? Comment below!