As you may have heard, studying abroad is a life-changing experience and there are plenty of benefits to studying abroad. For many students, it is the most memorable experience of their college career. Studying abroad can be a pivotal moment in your personal and professional life.
Whether you’re considering studying abroad or trying to convince your parents to pay for it, it’s important to understand the tangible benefits of studying abroad.
No matter which study abroad program you choose, it will enrich your life outside the classroom in countless ways you probably never thought possible. From high salaries to lifelong friendships, these are the real perks and benefits of studying abroad.
1. You get to travel the world.
This is the biggest advantage of studying abroad. Living in a foreign country while studying gives you access to travel and exploration like never before. Many programs incorporate field trips and excursions.
If not, chances are you’re surrounded by other international students who want to know the world, so you’ll have travel buddies from day one.
Not only do they get the chance to see more of the country they study in, but many international students find it much easier to travel to other countries while studying. There are weekends and holidays to travel.
If you study in a continent like Europe, you will find that traveling to different countries is much easier and cheaper than returning to the United States.
International students often visit several countries other than the one in which they wish to study.
If you rant to fill your passport, you can also consider Semester at Sea. This is a study abroad program that visits 10 to 12 countries on multiple continents in one semester.
2. Abroad study broadens your view of the world.
Living in a foreign country opens your mind to new perspectives and lifestyles in ways that a simple visit for a week or two can’t. You will likely find that your way of seeing the world will be challenged again and again.
You will come out of it all and become a better, more balanced person. You will also find that dealing with a different culture has a lasting effect on how you live your life.
You will find some things that these other countries do better than yours, and you will be able to incorporate them into your own life.
Create a strong, comprehensive foundation for building a life and realizing your potential.
3. You find many assets to impress future employers.
Some people may think that traveling and living abroad hinders your career, but it’s quite the opposite.
In fact, in a way that improves your skills and teaches you something new, international experience is highly desirable in today’s globalized job market. What better way to get that international experience than studying abroad?
In fact, according to a survey conducted by IES Abroad, 90% of study-abroad students found a job within six months of graduating, compared to just 49% of regular graduates.
Students who studied abroad also earned an average of $7,000 more starting salary than those who did not.
4. You can learn a foreign language.
Speaking of impressive new employers, learning a foreign language can greatly improve your job prospects. Studying abroad enables immersion, the most effective way to learn a language in a short period of time.
Demand for a bilingual workforce has more than doubled in the last five years and is likely to continue to grow. It’s estimated that learning a foreign language earns an average 2% “language bonus” in lifetime salary, but some in-demand languages earn double that.
It may not sound like a big deal, but it builds up throughout your career. Besides financial bonuses, learning a foreign language also has its own value.
You’ll learn a lot about how language and communication generally work and speaking the local language will also allow you to interact with other cultures on a deeper level.
Plus, learning another language can be tough, but incredibly rewarding when you can finally express yourself in a way that the locals understand!
5. You get to learn how to communicate with all kinds of people.
Whether it’s just learning a few phrases or studying in an English-speaking country, studying abroad greatly improves your communication skills.
But learning to communicate better is not just about bridging language gaps. Studying abroad forces you to interact on a daily basis with people who are different from you – people who practice different habits and see the world differently.
This includes people within their own programs. Study abroad programs often bring together students from different countries in one program, so you can meet and make friends with people from all over the world every day.
6. The experience can give real-world context to classroom learning.
Many study abroad programs include hands-on learning experiences that enhance and complement classroom learning.
Imagine studying world history and then visiting the Colosseum in Rome with a professor, or studying art and then visiting the Louvre, or taking a course on world religions, and then visiting a Buddhist temple in Thailand. Try it.
Some study abroad programs are subject-specific or offer the opportunity to do an internship. Archeology students can study at ISA in Cusco, Peru, and learn from famous Inca sites such as Machu Picchu.
CAPA London offers bespoke internships for international students wishing to go to the UK to learn about another industry they wish to pursue after graduation. These programs not only give you first-hand experience of your major but also allow you to see your subject from a different perspective by studying the subject in another country.
7. You make through saving money on college tuition.
You may have heard that America has some of the most expensive universities in the world. This applies regardless of whether you study at a private or public school.
With the average public college cost of over $20,000 including room and board, and private colleges around $50,000 (source), it’s not difficult to find programs abroad that are significantly cheaper than colleges in the United States.
Even factoring in travel costs, studying abroad may actually save you money. If you’re on a tight budget, you should be more interested in direct admission rather than a third-party study abroad program that takes care of everything for you.
Also, if you want to study abroad on a budget, consider countries with a lower cost of living.
8. You make friends for life.
When you go through an immersive experience like studying abroad, you get very close to fellow students who grow and learn with you. Friends you make while studying abroad tend to be your best friends for the rest of your life.
Some of you may be worried that studying abroad in a foreign country surrounded by people you don’t know will make it difficult to make friends.
However, if you choose a program that interests you and participates, making friends while studying abroad is easier than you think.
Many study abroad programs include social events and activities, and you may even have the opportunity to meet classmates before the program begins.
9. You can build enough confidence for life.
Living alone in a foreign country gives a new sense of independence, even though you are used to studying far away from home.
From learning how to use public transport to ordering food in a local language, the process of figuring out how to live abroad is a process of self-discovery.
This process will help you understand your capabilities. As a result, many students feel like whole new people when they return from their study abroad experience.
This experience has given me unwavering confidence and a new perspective on the world. It also leads to good leadership skills.
This is probably one of the reasons why employers appreciate the study abroad features on resumes.
10. You become a citizen of the world.
Going abroad for a semester or a year allows you to connect with the world in ways that are difficult to achieve at home.
Not only can you understand how people from different cultures think and feel on a personal level, but you can also develop a better understanding of how global issues and world events affect countries on the other side of the globe.
Coming home, you often find that news stories about faraway places that once seemed strange and distant are now more personal.
You went to those places, made friends who lived in those places, and they became like a second home. Make us better global citizens. This is an important part of living in a global society.
There are numerous benefits of studying abroad that you carry with you for a lifetime. Even if you never return to the country you studied in, what you learn will be applied to your work and personal life on a daily basis.
Studying abroad may be the most valuable thing you can do while studying abroad. So, what are you waiting for??