Knowing the vast advantages to studying abroad can help you determine whether traveling overseas is right for your college plan. Most universities offer credit for students engaging in study abroad programs for one semester or an entire academic year. College students can earn visas to study in foreign nations across seven continents, even Antarctica.
According to the NAFSA, around 1.5 percent of U.S. students (304,467) enroll at international institutions during their collegiate years. Around 40 percent of these students travel to England, Italy, Spain, and France. Seeing the world and immersing oneself in a brand-new culture can have a life-changing impact on young people.
Not only does studying abroad look wonderful on a resume, but the trip also provides the following valuable benefits.
College students who study abroad are able to step outside their comfort zones and learn more about themselves. Being on your own in a foreign country will help you become more independent and self-confident in navigating the real world. Studying abroad places you in situations where you’ll test your ability to adapt and problem solve. You’ll learn how to appreciate life’s most important things by organizing your belongings into a suitcase. Students who study abroad are typically more mature than their peers and can easily transition from teen to adult. You can also build rewarding personal relationships with your host country’s students.
Expanding your education into a new learning environment is one of the best advantages to studying abroad. You’ll be introduced to the international side of your major. Students can learn about global regulations and laws that wouldn’t in the United States. Honing foreign language skills is a major plus for competing in today’s diverse job market. When you return home, your overseas experience will be attractive to employers. On average, 97 percent of study abroad students find employment within 12 months with higher starting salaries. Studying abroad could introduce you to in-demand careers in international trade, government, translation, economics, and more.
Touring the Taj Majal, Eiffel Tower, or Sydney Opera House can gift you fun, unforgettable experiences, but it’s not the purpose of studying abroad. You’ll spend a longer length of time in your host country to dig deeper beyond tourist traps. Study abroad students engross themselves in local culture, food, and traditions. Interactions with people of different customs will help shatter your misconceptions and biases. You’ll develop a global mindset for viewing the world from multiple perspectives. This means you can also view your own culture from a different lens and steer your future. Some study abroad students gain such respect for their host country that they stay long-term.
Studying abroad is an excellent learning opportunity that some students may think they can’t afford. Housing, travel, living, and textbook costs atop of college tuition can add up quickly and drain your piggy bank. If your health insurance policy doesn’t cover medical abroad, that’s another big expense. Part-time jobs and internships overseas can help you afford your travels without losing out on currency fluctuations. Study abroad scholarships are also beneficial for cutting your financial barriers. Although the cost is steep, the above advantages to studying abroad fair outweigh them for most students wishing to make the world their oyster.