Why should you study abroad? Here are 10 benefits that can convince you!
As a student doing a degree in your home country, you might be hesitant to move abroad to an unknown location filled with strangers, away from home and everyone you know, with no landmark and the risk of failure. However, there is no need to be afraid! Every student that has done it will tell you that studying abroad is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that will turn you into a new and improved person. That is simply because there are too many positives to this new life you are embarking into! So if you or your parents need convincing as to why studying abroad is a great idea, read on.
We have compiled for you 10 of the most valuable benefits of the study abroad experience:
1. Seeing more of the world
The first thing that comes to mind when thinking about studying abroad is of course, traveling. Undertaking a degree in a new country gives you a unique chance to see the world in a way you’ve never seen before. You can visit countries you otherwise might not even have thought about visiting. As a student, you have many advantages and can benefit from lots of discounts aimed at international students. Think about it: accommodation options, restaurant discounts, cheap public transportation… All of this put together really helps you live the experience to the fullest and if you follow all the tips to this adventure you can really make the most out of studying abroad!
2. Expanding your knowledge
When studying abroad, it’s great to be in another country, but it is first and foremost an educational experience. Some potential students may tend to believe that going to a new country to get a degree only means you will get to party with foreigners and spend your days at the beach, but for the most part, that is simply not true. In fact, most programmes abroad are actually harder to complete due to having to deal with adapting to a new country, having a different schedule than the one you’re used to, and sometimes even studying – partially or completely – in the local language. Additionally, for some students, studying abroad is the only option to find the dream study programme as certain studies are very exclusive or only offered in select countries/universities. The educational aspect of studying abroad always comes first!
Most of the time, foreign students will need a short period of adaptation to their new home and study regiment, but once you get past that you will soon realize that it’s actually a great opportunity for learning more, and that this experience makes you stronger in the end. Indeed, foreign universities will have a totally different and refreshing input than what you’re used to, as well as other ways of teaching than the ones your home country offers you. In the end, you will come home with an expanded knowledge on a variety of topics, not only in relation to your field of studies, but you will also learn about the new cultures you come across and foreign languages you will immerse yourself into.
3. Learning languages
One obvious yet very valuable benefit of taking the leap towards a study abroad experience is the fact that you will immensely improve your skills in the local language. This is an asset that is not to be overlooked in today’s increasingly globalized society. That is one reason why we highly recommend you do not choose to live abroad in a country that has your mother tongue as its main language. Doing so would be a waste of an opportunity on your part. Although if you are looking at doing a specific degree, sometimes you will simply have no other choice.
If you do want to learn a new language, or just pick up an abandoned New Year’s resolution, studying abroad is the perfect option. Take your classes in the local language, live the local social life and make friends in your country of studies, take in the local pop culture, and you will be fluent within a matter of months!
4. Discovering foreign cultures
The places you travel to, the people you meet, the languages you practice, and the food you consume all have one thing in common: they are the culture. Each is distinctive to its place of origin yet they are all connected and accessible in today’s world. Our modern melting pot of cultures allows for us to easily discover multiple cultures even in the smallest of cities, but there is no better way to experience something foreign than to totally immerse yourself within the local culture.
No matter where you choose to study, there will be new and rich cultures, customs, and history associated to your adoptive country for you to discover. The deep immersion you get to experience as part of your adventure abroad will give you an understanding of local beliefs and values that cannot be taught with books, which is something that is immeasurably invaluable.
5. Gaining a new perspective
It’s no secret that traveling gives you a new perspective on life and the world as a whole but living (and studying) in a new place changes your perspective even more drastically. As opposed to visiting a place as a tourist, living in a new environment will make you truly understand what the culture is about, what the people are going through, and how life really is in that part of the globe on a daily basis.
After such an experience, studies have shown that students come home with an improved view of the world, a deepened sense of open-mindedness, and a true feeling of being a global citizen. The new outlook on life gathered while studying abroad is an asset for your future, as it molds you into a more understanding person, and will guide a lot of your endeavour going forward. Going abroad is also a great opportunity to get a sense of the global perceptions of your own country, and to fight against the negative stereotypes you might be subject to.
6. Making connections
One thing that’s for sure when studying abroad is that you will make friends for life. You will find that networking is a big part of your overseas degree experience, and when you study somewhere else you are bound to meet people from all parts of the globe. Because all the international students are in the same boat, being in a foreign place surrounded by foreign people, you are always very likely to become good friends and can relate to one another’s experiences.
On top of that, you will also make friends from the country you are studying in and you have a lot of ways to do so, simply get out of your comfort zone and get to know people! Sports activities, going out, joining interest groups, and being sociable are all things that will help you make connections in your study abroad journey. This will lead to some intense days of studying, crazy nights of partying, and hopefully a lifetime’s worth of great memories. An amazing benefit here is that once you finish your studies, having made friends with people from all around the globe, you will never run out of travel options!
7. Opening the door to endless possibilities
All the things you learn, people you meet, and the hobbies you take part in during your study abroad experience will eventually benefit you in ways you cannot yet fathom. Maybe you will find your true vocation undertaking an extra class by curiosity, or you might run into your soulmate during a game of beach volley, or better yet, will make a decision to settle down in the country of your studies and start a brand new life as an adopted local. Anything is possible, you just have to get out there and see it for yourself.
While you are studying abroad, everything you do might seem new, or fun, or simply another way to pass the time or to make the most out of your experience, making sure you don’t miss out on anything while you’re there. In the long run however, all these things will amount to a new you, and this new person will be full of experience in a variety of fields, shaping you into a grown individual with stories to share and opportunities to grab!
8. Improving your career prospects
Any recruiter will tell you that extracurricular activities are vital to a young professional’s CV. And taking a semester, year, or even multiple years abroad is the ultimate extracurricular activity. Your curriculum, or resume, is what will in the end lead you to your dream career, as long as you make the right moves to let it showcase your best self. A study abroad experience is definitely not something everybody does, but it is an endeavour that shows risk-taking, determination, and strength of character, and in the end results in more open-mindedness and likely some fluency in an additional language. In today’s job market, those are all very valuable attributes that will without a doubt make you stand out from the crowd of young applicants! When you study abroad, you are investing in yourself.
9. Becoming independent
Getting out of your comfort zone – and out of your natural habitat – is frightening to some, but the key to getting past this hurdle is to simply embrace this new life for what it truly is. In reality, a study abroad experience for most students unlocks their true potential. Living on your own and learning basic skills that will help you transition into adult life can have a big impact! Finding housing, learning to cook, and getting to grips with handling a budget are just some of the things you will get great at, after a bit of failure of course.
You will come back home ready to leave the nest at any time, and what is more, with a heightened sense of appreciation for your home and all the little things you used to take for granted.
10. Starting an adventure!
Above all, a study abroad experience is something that will ignite a fire in you that you didn’t know existed! You will start a once-in-a-lifetime adventure that will likely leave you craving for more, going on a lifelong hunt for more thrilling moments, riveting memories, and unique experiences. After all, your first study abroad experience will surely not be the last great adventure you undertake, and it stays with you long after it’s done. If you think about it, studying abroad is only a stepping stone to all the other great things you are bound to accomplish. So get out there and write your own adventure!
Nowadays, there are plenty of options for students looking to study abroad at an international university, so studying abroad is becoming more accessible and more affordable every year.
On top of that, The Study Abroad Portal is always there to help you in your search for the dream study abroad programme. So if you’re truly motivated to find the right degree in the right location, sign up today to some of our Online Open Days that match your preferences and attend the interactive webinar to find out which is the right one for you. Good luck!