10 Benefits to Studying Abroad
Studying abroad may be one of the most beneficial experiences for a college student. By studying abroad, students have the opportunity to study in a foreign nation and take in the allure and culture of a new land. Here is a list of the top 10 reasons to study abroad!
1. 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! For example, if you study in France, you’ll have the option to travel through various parts of Europe including London , Barcelona , and Rome.
Another reason you might consider studying abroad is for the chance to experience different styles of education. By enrolling in a study abroad program, you’ll have the chance to see a side of your major that you may not have been exposed to at home.
You’ll find that completely immersing yourself in the education system of your host country is a great way to really experience and understand the people, its traditions, and its culture. Education is the centerpiece of any study abroad trip—it is, after all, a study abroad program—and choosing the right school is a very important factor.
3. Take in a New Culture
Many students who choose to study abroad are leaving their home for the first time. When they arrive in their new host country, they are fascinated by the distinct cultural perspectives. When you study abroad you will find incredible new foods, customs, traditions, and social atmospheres.
You will find that you have a better understanding and appreciation for the nation’s people and history. You will have the opportunity to witness a completely new way of life.
4. Hone Your Language Skills
Chances are if you’re planning on studying abroad, one of the major draws is the opportunity to study a foreign language. Studying abroad grants you the opportunity to completely immerse yourself in a new language, and there is no better way to learn than to dive right in.
In addition to the considerable language practice you will get just in day to day life, your host university will likely offer language courses to provide you with a more formal education. Immerse yourself in a new culture and go beyond a purely academic experience
5. 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.
6. 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.
7. Make Lifelong Friends
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.
8. Personal Development
There is nothing quite like being on your own in a foreign country. You might find that studying abroad really brings out your independent nature. Students who study abroad become explorers of their new nation and really discover the curiosity and excitement that they harbor.
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.
9. 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.
10. Life Experience
Why study abroad? 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. Studying abroad is an experience unlike any other.
Study Abroad Guide
The new semester’s here, which means you’re probably already looking for an escape better than a musty frat party. Studying abroad is the perfect opportunity to continue your academics while gaining a bunch of unique experiences. Studying abroad seems like a simple decision but between the cost and competitiveness of study abroad programs, the application can be more daunting than you think. Though I was accepted into my university’s study abroad program in London this past spring, I’ll be the first to admit that the application process was more rigorous than I expected. Here are some tips to make sure you send in a strong application.
Your application isn’t just about you ― it’s also about what people think of you.
Study abroad applications often ask for recommendation letters. When it comes to choosing a professor or boss to write it, choose someone that won’t just vouch for your academic abilities, but also your inquisitiveness or open-mindedness. Study abroad programs want students who will pass the classes, but they’re also looking for students who are willing to take in the culture of an entire country. They want students that won’t slouch on field trips or snore during theater visits. If there’s a class that you know you participated well in or where you demonstrated research or reading skills, choose those professors to write your recommendations. As always, ask sooner rather than later. You may not have a lot on your plate but professors get busy very fast. Talking in person is best but if that isn’t possible, send a polite e-mail.
The essay or personal statement is probably the most daunting part of the application process. However, study abroad essays are actually easy compared to most essays because your academics don’t have to be the highlight of the essay. While you can ― and should ― say how studying abroad fits into your career goals, it’s more important to emphasize why you want to study abroad in that specific country. Get personal. If you have any family ties to the country you want to study abroad in, such as that your family lives there and you’ve never gotten a chance to visit, say so. If a film, artist, musician, or writer inspired you to travel to this country, explain how. Most importantly, if you’ve never traveled outside of your hometown, say that! Study abroad programs want to give students who’ve never traveled before the opportunity to see the world, so don’t see your lack of travel as embarrassing. It’s actually a major boost. Before studying abroad in London, I’d never been to Europe, and I made sure to include this in my essay. You may think of it as a desperate thing to say, but it shows desire.
While you’re applying, make sure you’re also searching for scholarships, grants, or other financial aid to ease the cost. Studying abroad is an expense. If financial aid is necessary for you to study abroad, make sure to stay on top of any opportunities. Don’t let the fear of denial keep you from applying. As a student at a state university, scholarships and grants are cutthroat, which can be discouraging, but I still applied. Not bothering to apply means giving away the opportunity to make your life easier, or giving up the opportunity to study abroad for good. Visit your school’s financial aid office or website, or generic grant/scholarship sites to track financial aid opportunities for study abroad students.
The last step for success? Apply ASAP! Exams and assignments will pile up before you know it. You don’t want to miss out on studying abroad because you couldn’t find the time to apply. Set aside time daily or weekly to work on your application. You’ll be overseas in no time.