Many students wish to see the world, but their priority is first to complete their degree. This makes perfect sense, but did you know that you can travel abroad and earn your degree simultaneously? Here, we’ll share all the top reasons why study abroad programs are so popular.
What is Study Abroad?
The term “study abroad” refers to a college student who takes classes in a foreign country to earn college credit. Students have the opportunity to leave the confines of their daily routine to interact with a rich, diverse culture. A student can choose to attend a foreign university or apply through a local college study abroad program.
The program’s length depends on what the student wants to get out of it. There are options to stay from a semester to a year, or even to complete an entire degree in that country. A study abroad program aims to boost the typical college experience through personal growth and new opportunities.
Why Study Abroad?
Studying abroad is a fantastic chance to advance your academics and future career. Not only will you stand out to future employers, but you will also grow in many personal ways that can benefit you for life in your profession and personal endeavors.
For example, learning a new language makes you a top choice for companies with a diverse client base. Plus, the places you venture and the connections you make will impact you so much that you may not recognize yourself when your program ends. You’ll look into the mirror and see a person that is mature and wise after the thrilling independence of living in a foreign country.
So ask yourself this: why not study abroad?
Let’s take a look at some reasons why study abroad programs are so intriguing to many students worldwide.
Explore the World
Most people dream about traveling the world. After graduation, though, aspirations meet reality, and many feel like they have to start working immediately. They’ll soon find themselves aching to feel the thrill of exploration.
Studying abroad is an excellent opportunity for students who long to travel but can’t afford to vacation. Plus, students who study abroad gain much more than the average tourist. They can immerse themselves in a new culture and have a chance to sample all the wonders the country has to offer.
Studying abroad provides you with unparalleled memories. Not only do you get to witness different customs, but each day can also be an adventure as you tour the area, try new foods, and visit popular tourist sites. Not to mention the vibrant landscapes that can be just a few minutes away! You’ll find yourself with dozens of remarkable stories of your time getting to know the country you’re living in. If you get lost? Well, that’s just part of the experience. Take advantage of your opportunity and become a seasoned traveler!
Overcome the Challenge
It’s normal to go back and forth when deciding whether to study abroad. Your mind fills with worries about all the unknowns because it’s uncomfortable to take such a great leap out of your comfort zone. However, that’s exactly the right reason to dive into the challenge.
When you aren’t surrounded by familiarity, you are able to access tremendous personal strength. You will get the chance to really get to know yourself and discover just how tough you are. It may surprise you that you are your best advocate and that your mindset shapes how much you benefit from the program. Anxious thoughts may threaten to overwhelm you, but you can easily manage your emotions with these stress-relieving techniques. That’s the best part of it all — you are in complete control.
Learn a New Language
The most effective way to learn a language is to fully immerse yourself in it. Most students don’t have the opportunity to master a language. Standard language classes only include basic vocabulary and simple grammatical rules. Without living in a foreign country for a lengthy period of time, it’s easy to forget all the concepts you’ve memorized.
To speak with fluency, you have to be in constant contact with native speakers. After a while, the language will come to you naturally and your sentences will flow with ease. When you study abroad, you have this opportunity every day.
Expand Your Global Network
Having connections throughout the world is a huge advantage. It’s easy to meet new people as a study abroad student. Whether you choose to connect with like-minded people or build friendships as you explore the country, you’ll be sure to build strong relationships.
Besides the perk of having free space to sleep when you travel, you will have a supreme advantage in business. Employers want to expand their companies globally, and having foreign acquaintances will make you stand out on a job application.
Not only that, but should you wish to work at home in such a digitally connected world, you can leverage your contacts abroad to find a job beyond your borders. That way, you’re not limited with your career choices and can find the best position that sparks your interest.
Increase Career Opportunities
Study abroad students are a package deal that companies often jump to hire. The ability to work independently without needing to be micromanaged is a valued trait. Being thrown head-first into a foreign country is a sure way to gain independence and showcase to prospective employers that you possess desirable skills.
Educated bilingual students are a top commodity. To top it off, your global connections can enhance a company’s business. Entering the workforce or entrepreneurial scene as a well-rounded person puts you a step ahead of the game.
Option for More Affordable Education
The hesitation you may feel in your stomach is easy to identify — financial worry. Most college-level students don’t have an income that can support a multitude of living expenses. A lack of funds doesn’t need to prevent you from entering a foreign program, though. If you don’t already have financial aid that you can transfer, you can apply for various scholarships.
Another option is that the US may give you a federal loan to study internationally. European universities sometimes provide grants or scholarships to international students, too. It may surprise you to hear that tuition in Europe is cheaper than in the US!
Still, if you are looking for an even more affordable option, you should consider enrolling in an online university, such as University of the People, which is tuition-free. With classes entirely online, you have ample time and flexibility to enjoy the country and make the most of your stay. Alternatively, you may not wish to study abroad, but you can log-on and learn from wherever you may already be in the world.
Expand Your Horizons by Studying Abroad
The study abroad experience tends to be nothing short of life changing for those who partake. Nothing compares to completing your college courses out of the country. When you plunge into a culture so unlike what you’re accustomed to, you’ll undoubtedly emerge with new beliefs and a strong foundation for continual growth that will serve you in your personal and professional goals.
If your responses to the question of, “Why study abroad” lead you to instead ask, “Why not study abroad?” then you’re probably set for takeoff.