Is studying abroad really all that it is cracked up to be? This article answers that question with an emphatic “YES!” Studying abroad has many benefits for your degree, for your job prospects, and for your personal growth. Don’t let the opportunity pass you by.
Studying abroad is one of the best things that you can do to enrich your education. It may seem a little daunting at first, but you’ll have a hard time finding a single student who went to study abroad and didn’t find it to be an eye-opening and invaluable experience (I most certainly did!).
Most colleges and universities offer some sort of study abroad program, so if your college or university has such a program, there really is no excuse not to at least consider it.
If you’ve given some thought to studying abroad in the past, but have always been too scared to actually go through with it, here are some solid reasons why you should just take the plunge:
Studying abroad will help you grow leaps and bounds as a person
Studying abroad may well be one of the very first times in your life that you will have a chance to go off and be independent. For many college students, this might be the first time that they’ve ever truly had to completely rely on themselves, without a surrounding support network of friends and family.
Though it will likely take some adjusting, chances are that you’ll be pleasantly surprised by how much you can handle. On top of that, you’ll probably need to learn how to manage some of your own finances, which is invaluable experience for later in life.
Studying abroad will even push you to form some new ideas about yourself, your relationships, and even about the world along the way, helping to shape the sort of person that you will become.
It’s a great way to immerse yourself in another culture
If you’ve ever wanted to learn about a different culture or to learn a different language, then studying abroad and immersing yourself in that culture is one of the best ways to do it.
There is only so much that can be gleaned from reading about a culture in books, or from visiting on vacation and only seeing how that culture portrays itself to tourists.
For a real, immersive, and truly educational experience, you are going to actually have to live in the place you want to learn about. You’ll get the chance to live your daily life in the same way as all of the local residents, partaking in customs and traditions that may be totally new to you.
Seeing how other people live, work, worship, entertain themselves, and learn will help to increase your appreciation for humanity’s differences, and for humanity’s similarities.
It can open up a lot of job prospects and opportunities
Finally, spending a semester or two abroad is going to look great on your degree [resume], and impressive to potential employers who are looking to see what makes you stand out from the many other college grads applying for a position.
You may even get to know people and make important connections while studying abroad, connections that may play a big part in what you decide to do with your life in the future. Studying abroad is a great way to open up all of these possibilities, helping you to secure a bright future for yourself.
In some circles, the idea of studying abroad is highly controversial. In my opinion, it doesn’t have to be.