If you’re looking to expand your horizons, studying abroad can be a fun and safe way to travel, as well as a brilliant way to gain academic credit.
Studying abroad is so much more than classroom lectures. It smashes the walls of the classroom down so as to immerse you into a whole other culture. The host country becomes your classroom, as a new language, a new cuisine, and a new way of life are just a few of the things that confront you. In this new setting, studying abroad affords you the unique opportunity to travel with the mindset of a student, not a tourist. This is what is most valuable about the experience, as it truly encourages you to make the absolute most of your time abroad. Further, being immersed in a different culture opens you up to new perspectives. As the trite, yet truthful, saying goes: “travel broadens the mind” and certainly studying abroad will give you a more global outlook on life.
One of the benefits of studying abroad is that it will bring you into contact with a wide variety of people that you would have never met otherwise. Whether it is new friends from class or from your host country, studying abroad gives you an opportunity to forge life-long bonds with rare individuals. It is the people that you will interact with that will make your experience unforgettable and this is really the major reason to study abroad. However, studying abroad also allows you to create contacts with professors that can come in handy down the road too. Whether you need a letter of recommendation for graduate school or a reference for your resume, the contacts you make studying abroad can be very useful in pursuing either an academic or professional career.
Develop Life Skills
For someone who still lives at home with their parents or someone who has limited travelling experience, studying abroad offers a crash course in valuable life skills. For instance, the amount of independence you experience forces you to become disciplined when it comes to following a schedule, lest you be left behind because you were late for the bus. This independence can also foster growth as a person. Whether it is mastering a foreign subway system or picking up some of the basics of the local language, studying abroad affords you an opportunity to navigate your own way. You slowly discover that you can successfully do things on your own or perhaps you find out that you are more adaptable than you previously thought. Studying abroad offers the chance to test your mettle and hopefully, grow as a person, plus, it doesn’t hurt your resume either.
Many students can be constrained by their finances from studying abroad, but most programs have bursaries and awards on offer. All you have to do is apply. Don’t let finances hold you back from an experience of a lifetime!