Life’s not peachy when you decide to study abroad. When I did my stint in a small college town in the middle of Oklahoma (far away from the tropical paradise that was my native island of Sri Lanka), little did I know that all the experiences I would rack up – both good and bad – would make me the person I am today. If you’re thinking about studying abroad there’s certainly going to be a lot of research to do and a lot of questions to ask yourself before you book your ticket. Here are five great benefits you gain by studying abroad, and we hope we sway your decision to go for it!
1. You’ll Be Inspired
Let’s face it, there’s going to be a time in your college life when you feel a bit stuck in a rut. Maybe you don’t see how your chosen field can actually make an impact in the real world. Perhaps your chosen course work just doesn’t challenge you. An academic endeavor in another country can reignite that spark. You may meet inspiring lecturers who make you think and see things differently. You’ll meet professionals in your field who are out there helping eliminate poverty, fight deadly diseases, reduce Co2 emissions, or create jobs.
2. You’ll Learn to Thrive outside Your Comfort Zone
Brave enough to use a bidet? Okay with driving on the other side of the road? Confident enough to use your Spanish on the locals? Studying abroad can expose you to a bunch of interesting and challenging experiences, and the main thing is to take the bull by the horns. Once you’re able to survive in a foreign environment, you’ll be able to take that skill of adaptability with you to anywhere in the world and be successful.
3. You’ll Have Experiences That You Will Never Forget
Remember that rave on that beach in Spain? Or that raucous rugby game in Ireland? Remember when you jumped into that freezing lake in Russia? A Salvadorian friend I knew back in college used to have a poster pinned up on the ceiling above his bed. It just said “carpe diem” – seize the day. An educational stint in another country can give you the opportunity to boldly make so many great memories that you’ll never forget for as long as you live. You’ll come into contact with amazing people, see beautiful places, and learn so much about cultures that you would have only read about.
RELATED: Thinking of making the move to a European university? Here’s a helpful article about the cultural differences you’ll need to know about!
4. You’ll Learn a New Language
Okay so you may not be a linguistic genius but you’ll still know how to haggle at a market in Rome, sing karaoke in Tokyo, or share a joke at a beer garden in Berlin. Of course, this is given you don’t choose the easy route and move to a predominantly English-speaking country (where’s the fun in that?). Learning at least the basic conversational aspects of a language will give you a clear advantage. Locals will respect your attempts to learn their language, while future employers would love to have a bilingual person as part of their team. It’s just another arrow in your quiver of skills that’ll look super impressive on that résumé.
5. Your Future Career Options Will Look Brighter
Employers these days don’t just look for great academics, but they also want to see a well-rounded individual who has been molded by experiences. Your achievements in your foreign country of education can impress at that interview and show your future bosses that you are capable of handling new and demanding situations with confidence. You’ll be the epitome of having grace under fire, and you’ll enjoy having the advantage over peers with better grades or flashier internships.
Still looking for a good reason to travel abroad for education? Don’t hesitate – carpe diem!
Have you done a stint studying abroad? What are the great experiences and valuable lessons you’ve learned? Share them with us in the comments below.