At some point during your college career, you will probably be bombarded with literature about opportunities to study abroad. While it may not be offered at your own school, there are plenty of openings through other programs or institutions that you can take advantage of. Ask anyone who has studied abroad, and they’re sure to tell you it was one of the greatest experiences of their life. But if you’re not convinced that it would be a great experience for you, consider these reasons:
- Change your view of the world
Want to know the best way to see the world from a new perspective? Immerse yourself in a new culture! Not only will you get a new understanding of other cultures, but you can gain a new appreciation for your own as well. And it doesn’t need to be a faraway, exotic location to change your world view. You might be surprised by how much you learn about others (and yourself too!) by venturing to a place as close as a neighboring country.
- Learn a new language or improve foreign language skills
The best place to learn a new language is when you are surrounded by potential tutors. If you are willing to put in the work to try and communicate in their native tongue, people will be more than happy to help you along your way. Not only will they appreciate your efforts to embrace their language, it also makes things easier for you as you try to communicate during your trip.
- Increase the value of your education
It’s no secret that the cost of education is very high and still on the rise, and studying abroad is one step you can take to get more bang for your buck. The invaluable life lessons you gain studying abroad can’t be taught in a classroom, and you will take these lessons with you for the rest of your life. By putting yourself in a position to gain new knowledge and experiences, you have added an extraordinary amount of value to your education without paying too much extra for it. Most schools have minimal fees associated with travel programs, but there are also a number of financial aid resources available for students who are looking to travel abroad, so make sure to use these to your benefit.
- Use travel for a change of pace
Boring class, tedious homework assignments, lengthy term papers, and exhaustive exams. These are all a part of a college experience, so why wouldn’t you want a change? Studying abroad is almost always structured with academic vacations and weekends off, so you can use these as a way to travel around the world with your newly acquired friends! Some university programs include organized trips to different locations that will help you and your international entourage branch out and explore new places.
- Improved employment prospects
In a world where businesses are constantly looking to go global, don’t you think you should have some international experience to talk about in an interview? Employers often see students who have studied abroad as self-motivated people that embrace challenges and diversity. The life skills you gain studying abroad will make you a desirable job candidate and prove that you are not afraid of new and exciting experiences.
For more specific information regarding study abroad opportunities, contact your school about the programs they offer. You can also check out the U.S. Senate Resolution citing 13 reasons why it is imperative for more Americans to study abroad.
Chris Joyce is currently a Strategic Marketing Intern at McGraw-Hill Higher Education pursuing his MBA in Marketing Management from St. John’s University in New York. Before joining McGraw-Hill, he worked in a number of sports and event marketing positions in various locations around the world. Chris holds a Bachelor of Science in Sport Management, also from St. John’s, and in his free time he continues his passion for sports and the outdoors.