Studying abroad changed my life. It may be one of the most beneficial experiences for a college student. It is cheaper than you might think and if you have any doubts, here is why you need to study abroad in college.
If you are thinking about moving or studying abroad soon, you will find some of these resources useful:
Discover the World
The biggest reason you should consider studying abroad is the opportunity to see the world. By studying abroad, you will experience a different culture and you will be able to visit museums, landmarks and natural wonders of your host nation.
In addition, when you’re abroad, you won’t be limited to traveling in just the country in which you are studying – you can see neighboring countries during spring break or vacations! For example, if you study in Europe, you’ll have the option to go to other countries since flights are so much cheaper and distances are a lot shorter. While I was studying in Barcelona, I had a chance to go Italy as well.
Studying in a different country offers many new activities and interests that you may never have discovered if you were at home. You might find an undiscovered talent for dancing, water sports, painting or other activities you may never have tried back home.
A benefit to studying abroad is the opportunity to discover yourself while gaining an understanding of a different culture. When I was growing up I never thought I would move across the world. My high school abroad experience inspired me to go to college in the United States. In college, I studied abroad in Spain for a semester. My study abroad experience in Spain changed my life once again. It helped me understand the career path I want to take and understand my passions. While I did learn more about the country I was in, its culture and traditions, this experience made me understand myself and who I want to be.
Experience a Different Education Culture
With a different society comes a different education culture. Another reason you might consider studying abroad is to experience different styles of education. By enrolling in a study abroad program, you’ll have the chance to see a side of your major that you may not have been exposed to at home. Even though when I was studying abroad I took classes in my major, classes in Spain had a completely different take on it. Seeing a different take on the same major inspired my plans for Graduate School.
Take in a New Culture
Many students who choose to study abroad are leaving their home for the first time. In the new country, they are fascinated by the distinct cultural perspectives. When you study abroad you will find incredible new foods, customs, traditions, and people. When I came to the United States I was able to find out more about what interests people who live their, what are their everyday troubles. We leave a piece of our heart in the new place we go. I gained a better understanding and appreciation for the people and history of the United States. And you will have the opportunity to witness a completely new way of life. Studying abroad allows you to see how other people live in different countries because you get to live like a local.
Improve Your Language Skills
If you’re planning to study abroad, you should go to a country with a different language. I know, it sounds risky and may be even scary to not be able to understand anyone. While being completely immersed in a new language will be challenging at first, you will actually be able to learn it really fast. In addition to the language practice you will get in day to day life, your university will likely offer language courses to provide you with more resources.
Meet New Friends from All Over the World
In college I’ve met some of my best friends that have truly impacted my life, and by studying abroad I am able to expand my network of friends to greater places. I am constantly meeting new people everyday from different countries and that helps me relate to them and understand more about their home.
Try New Food
Paella with octopus, anyone? One of the best parts about studying abroad is the amazing food! Within Europe there are a huge influences of multiple cultures from all over the world ane a lot of restaurants. In Barcelona I was able to eat Catalan food, but also food from Peru, Ecuador, and Ethiopia. The options are truly endless!
Studying Abroad Empowers You
Studying abroad helped me come out of my comfort zone. During my first study abroad in the United States, I spent eight months with a host family in a new country at the age of 15. When I came back home, I knew that I could live independently and I could communicate in a different language. But even more, I knew that the world doesn’t end in my home town. There are so many things that you can do. Ever since that trip, I have been amazed at all of the opportunities that there are in the world.
When you finish your study abroad program and return home, you will return with a new perspective on culture, language skills, a great education, and a willingness to learn. All of these are very attractive to future employers.
Moreover, many students find that they love their host country so much that they want to go back and work there. It will be a lot easier to find a job there since you already know the language, have connections and know your way around. I graduated university in the United States and was able to find a job there after graduation!
It Is More Difficult to Go Abroad When You Graduate
When you graduate, going abroad is harder. After you find a job, you have think about your rent, insurance and building your career. You may have to start paying off your student loans. Finding a job abroad could be a lot harder if you have never been there and have no connections. While living abroad is possible after you graduate, it is a lot easier when you are still in college, so do it!
Are you planning to study abroad soon?
Have you studied abroad in college? How did that experience affect you? Do you have any advice for students that are just about to go on the adventure of a lifetime? Share in the comments below!