Studying abroad has been encouraged for years now, but the benefits of this experience are especially highlighted today. By studying abroad, students enjoy the opportunity to visit and live in a foreign culture, all whilst getting the education they need.
At this point, thousands of campuses worldwide offer study abroad fairs, while parents advise their children to persuade these opportunities. Basically, students are bombarded with photos and information about the benefits of studying abroad.
But, why has the interest grown so much these past decades?
The answer to this is very simple – studying abroad is an unforgettable experience that will not only teach the student how other cultures work, but will also provide them with independence, better career prospects and of course, new friendships.
'Getting the chance to study in a foreign nation is now easier than ever. People who know how complex this was to achieve in the past will give you the strange look if you say 'I don't want to study abroad'.' – says Romana Scott, a content manager at aussiewritings.com. 'We get that this is a challenge for students, but the benefits are incomparably higher than these challenges', she says.
If you are preparing to study abroad, to give you a clearer picture of what you get if you take this challenge, here is a list of the top reasons to study abroad:
1. A Broader Perspective
For many international students, their first study abroad experience means that they will leave the home for the first time. As soon as they arrive in the new location, they are thrilled with the distinct perspectives and difference of culture. And even though every student needs to go through the stages of cultural adjustment, visiting a foreign land allows you to find some incredible new customs, traditions and foods.
You will find that being introduced to cultural differences can truly enrich the understanding of the world. Those who are open to new nations, people and histories become more flexible and open-minded. In other words, witnessing a new way of life provides you with a better, broader perspective.
2. Personal Development and Responsibility
One of the most daunting and yet, best components of studying abroad is the challenge this action presents. Pushing yourself outside of the created comfort zone can be a scary thing to do, but once you do it, you will learn that adapting to changes is not as hard as you originally thought.
Actually, such changes are the best way to grow as a person and gain some responsibility. By taking on this challenge, you are growing in a person you could hardly be if you stayed in one place, introduced to only one way of living.
Moving to another location and studying abroad is all about doing exciting, new things. This can be a little bit scary at the beginning, but experiencing these ups and downs will make you more culturally aware, confident and responsible in the long run.
For most students, this is the first experience of leaving the home and the life they are accustomed to on their own. Therefore, this is an opportunity to gain an understanding of a new place, while learning how to adapt to diverse things on your own.
In other words, studying abroad is your big shot at getting a rapid course in the 'grown-ups world'. ( Read also 6 Tips to Choose the Right Course for Study Abroad )
3. New Friends
One of the reasons why students put off going abroad to study is because they are afraid they will miss their friends and family too much. This is true for every person who leaves their home on their own for the first time, but here lies the biggest reason why studying abroad is so encouraged nowadays.
Between Skype, FaceTime and Instagram, you are basically always in touch with your friends and family at home. The time when people sent letters is long gone and at this point, e-mails are just seconds away.
In addition to always being able to stay in touch with your beloved ones, you will know that everyone will be there once you return home. This is your one chance to make some new friends and widen this list.
Such programs present an incredible opportunity to meet new people and make lifelong friends. This does not mean that you will not miss your friends or will not feel homesick, but having more friends is actually a benefit for every person. According to students who enrolled in such programs, making friends abroad was one of the biggest benefits of this adventure.
Unfortunately, the study program will come to its end and you will have to leave the new place to go back home. This means that you have to leave some other friends behind, but fortunately, you can always make an effort and stay in contact with all your international friends. This is not only good for your personal relationships, but can also prove to be an important tool of networking down the road.
4. Learning Foreign Languages
One of the major draws for studying abroad is the opportunity to learn foreign languages. Visiting and living in a different country allows you to immerse yourself in the language and hone your language skills.
Learning a foreign language in the traditional classroom can be effective, but actually speaking the language with a native speaker is a whole other level of experience. This is your shot to use what you have learned in the classroom in practice, which is known to be one of the fastest ways of developing foreign language skills.
This does not mean that you will immediately become fluent in a new language. However, if you have some basis of the foreign language, immersing yourself into it can allow you to get a certain amount of fluency.
There is no better way to learn a foreign language than to dive right in it. Use this opportunity to get a 'beyond-academic language learning experience'.
5. Better Career Opportunities
When you finish a study abroad program, you are returning back home with knowledge and perspective on culture, improved language skills and a higher level of education. You can use this experience to enrich your resume and get better career opportunities. Such experiences are very attractive to employers.
Studying abroad is an experience like no other and every student who has enrolled in such programs will tell you this. With the advances in technology and increased number of study abroad programs, such activities are highly encouraged nowadays. Use the opportunity to hone your language skills, get immersed in a new country and basically, have some fun away from home!