Few academic experiences are as unique as studying abroad. As society becomes increasingly global, young men and women can benefit greatly from experiencing other cultures. The cultural savvy needed to traverse new terrains and interact with various people can give graduates an edge.
Higher education experts around the world say that studying abroad helps students become part of the global hub. But the following are seven additional perks to seeing the world in the name of education.
1. Make new friends. Studying abroad introduces students to people in different countries, helping to build friendships as well as an international professional network.
2. See the world. Students who study abroad have the opportunity to see different parts of the world they may not see otherwise. Studying abroad also enables students to travel unencumbered by family or friends who might want to follow their own itineraries.
3. Change your perceptions. It’s easy to get caught up in our own perceptions about other cultures or peoples. But travel is a great way to challenge those perceptions and gain a broader perspective on the world.
4. Develop greater language skills. One of the major draws of studying abroad is the opportunity to study a foreign language out in the world rather than inside a classroom. Constant language practice will enable you to hone your skills that much quicker. The ability to speak multiple languages fluently can give job applicants a greater edge on their competition.
5. Have more employment opportunities. Limiting yourself to one country for jobs may be a mistake. By studying abroad, you may create career opportunities overseas that may never have materialized had you studied at home. International experience is an asset that many employers value in prospective employees. In addition, overseas pay rates may be more competitive when you factor in the conversion rate.
6. Gain independence. Studying abroad may be your first real opportunity to be on your own. This can help you get over any apprehension about traveling alone and also foster greater self-confidence. You may find that traveling alone brings out an independent streak you never knew about.
Consider studying abroad as a way to broaden your horizons personally, socially and professionally.