We believe everyone should study abroad! There are so many reasons why studying abroad can be a life-changing experience. If you still need convincing why you should study abroad, consider these:
1. You’ll become more independent. Whether you’re travelling outside of the country for the first time, or even living alone for the first time, studying abroad pushes you to become independent and self-sufficient. There are of course challenges that come with this, but it’s incredibly rewarding. Students often say studying abroad was a period of huge personal growth for them.
2. You’ll learn about another culture. It doesn’t matter if you’re traveling across ten timezones or just the next country over. Studying abroad exposes you to new people, a new way of life, and a new culture. Our society is more global than ever, and these experiences will expose you to different types of people that will make you a better employee, student, and person overall.
3. You’ll stand out to future employers. You’ll gain valuable skills studying abroad, and employers will take notice. You’ll be a stronger communicator, have better interpersonal skills, and gain street smarts that will help you think critically, no matter your profession.
4. You’ll broaden your education. Say you’re an archeology student – studying in a country where you can actually go on-site to ancient ruins will be so incredibly valuable. No matter the field you’re in, studying abroad will simply expose you to new paths to pursue your passions, or even investigate new ones. The world has so many outstanding universities – so look beyond your current school and explore the possibilities.
5. You’ll learn more about yourself. When you remove yourself from an environment you feel comfortable in, you should expect a lot of personal growth to happen. It’s not always easy to leave your home city and move to a completely new environment – even if it’s just a few months! But stepping outside of your comfort zone can be truly invigorating. Even in the most stressful moments of homesickness, language barriers, and dealing with foreign currency, you’ll learn to rise to the occasion and find out what you’re truly made of.
6. You’ll gain valuable travel skills. Traveling well is indeed a skill, and it’s one that all global citizens should have. Not only will you learn the social norms of a new place, but even figuring out things like public transportation provide you with valuable life skills.
7. You’ll expand your network. If studying abroad for the personal growth and opportunity to expand your education isn’t enough, do it for the friendships. It can be scary to make new friends, but it’s so rewarding. You may realize you have so much in common with someone who lives in a different country. Whether or not you’re bonding with someone else from your country who is on the trip with you, or making friends with a local, expanding your network is great for your social life, your career, and your own growth. And with friends abroad, you’ll always have an excuse to go back!
8. You’ll immerse yourself in a new language. Learning a new language can be an exciting experience, especially if it’s been years since you’ve learned one in school. Even if you’re just learning the basics, you’re still exercising a part of your brain. And going to a country where they speak the same language as you is still a fascinating experience – you’ll learn new slang and speech patterns, and see your own language through totally different eyes.
9. You’ll go on new adventures. You don’t even need to hike a mountain to go on a study abroad adventure – trying a new food might be adventure enough. But you’re still exposing yourself to new things you wouldn’t be able to expose yourself to at home. And while you can (and certainly should!) take pictures for Instagram and your friends back home, you’ll probably be so wrapped up in these new experiences that you’ll put your phone down and just enjoy.
10. You’ll bring all of these new skills home with you. Coming home after a semester (or years) abroad can bring forward all sorts of emotions. Reverse culture shock is real! But those emotions mean you’ve changed, and have likely brought a lot of skills back with you. You might even realise how much you’ve missed your home country, and gain a new appreciation for it.