As a college student, you are gaining skills and life experience all the time. Studying abroad can boost these attributes at warp speed if you’ll let it. Though you may be daunted by the idea of leaving your home country and being truly on your own out there in the world, it can be a freeing and gratifying experience that proves you can handle most anything. If you have the opportunity to study abroad, take it, and here are a few simple reasons why you should if you need some more convincing.
You’ll See the World (Up close and personal – not just through TV, movies and Instagram)
From navigating foreign airports to living with a different set of everyday conveniences, you’ll come to appreciate that life abroad is not like life at home, but it is every bit as wonderful if you are open to it. You will experience a new place and all its nuances, learning to live your life in a slightly new way. You will have chances to explore the country where you’ll be studying and immerse yourself in that culture, while visiting and learning about neighboring countries, as well. Traveling as a student and as a young person, you’ll be free from many of the responsibilities you’ll likely have later in life – take advantage of your youth and freedom to see as much as you can, having as many adventures as you can.
You’ll Experience a Different Culture
Spending a lot of time in a country allows you to more fully absorb its culture. You will learn so much about that country’s traditions, from its food and art to its music and politics. There is no better education of a country and its culture than by living in it and being a part of it. Doing this will likely change your perspective of this country and many others, as you will realize there is more to the story than what you read in the news when at home or take away from a short vacation. Living there will create an appreciation for that country’s culture and its people that nothing else can. You will be able to apply this understanding to your life, both personally and professionally, moving forward.
You Will Learn a New Language
There is no better way to learn a language than to be immersed in a country that speaks it. So, if you have studied Spanish for years and are just okay at speaking it, this might be a chance for you to truly become fluent. Study in Spain or Mexico or Argentina. If you love the French language but have never studied it, now’s the time. Study in France for six months and see how far you can get. Having some fluency in a second language will be valuable as you move into the business world so it will benefit you in personally and professionally.
Your Career Opportunities Will Grow
Students with study abroad experience are attractive in the job market. So, while you are having fun and meeting new people and trying new food, you’ll also be enhancing your resume and increase your attractiveness to future employers. It tells these future employers that you are brave, adventurous and self-sufficient, and that you have a global perspective, some second-language knowledge, and that you might be game to travel for business and possibly even relocate if the need arises. It allows you to stand out from the crowd.
Oh, the Friends You’ll Make
When studying abroad, you will meet lots of new people, many of them foreign students like you coming from all corners of the world. You are likely to develop lifelong friendships as you will live, study, and travel together. This will create international networking opportunities and enhance your global perspective for years to come.
You’ll Come Home a New (More Adult) Person
Studying abroad forces you to become truly independent from your parents and family. You will be on your own, making adult decisions and, maybe for the first time, truly taking care of yourself. You will likely develop or enhance your problem-solving skills, social skills, and time management skills. You will return home a more mature and more confident, self-reliant person. These skills will come in handy professionally and certainly don’t hurt personally either.