Can studying abroad make you a better leader?

Image by Luis Llerena,

Twenty years ago, traveling abroad to study and expand your knowledge was unique. Not many could afford to travel internationally and study at some of the best colleges and universities in countries like the US, UK, France, Italy or Spain. Things have changed. Thanks to advanced technology, online learning and the internet, studying overseas has gone mainstream. With companies making a good profit from international business trades, increasingly more students choose a university out of the country in an attempt to come back and be qualified to work in a multi-national or corporate company without years of experience in a specific domain.

The perks of studying abroad

There are hundreds of programs for expats looking to studying abroad, and increasingly more institutions in the UK, France, Spain, and Italy have specially allotted spots for foreign students. The rules and regulations for a student to continue his studies overseas are different from country to country. One thing’s for sure – in Europe, tuition fees are much lower than in the US. Furthermore, in some European countries, going to university only involves a small entrance fee.

How can studying abroad make you a better leader?

You have a unique opportunity to explore the world all on your own. The mere thought of traveling to a different country alone instills a sense of responsibility from a young age. Not many students have the drive to leave the home nest at age 18. But when you study abroad, you spread your wings and are compelled to make ends meet.

One of the key benefits of studying abroad is socializing and meeting new people. Multi-cultural people are fascinating, and it’s a unique opportunity for you to see how others think. Talk to them, share ideas, opinions, and in time, it’ll help you form and strengthen your personality too. It’s also a great way to learn a new language. When you return home, you’ll have better chances of getting a job that demands a second language.

Overseas universities have different curriculums

Another perk of studying abroad is the diverse, unique curriculum. In France, for example, the Bologna curriculum has proven to be extremely efficient. It emphasizes both theory and practice, thus preparing 18-year-olds to become responsible adults. In Denmark, the system is quite different. Most universities and colleges focus on the practical part of a course. Rather than forcing students to read a ton of books per week, the system is all about throwing the student out in the world to practice, experiment, make mistakes, and learn.

Outstanding academic benefits

Studying abroad is the perfect opportunity to learn new things; things that are not included in community schools and universities. It is a great chance to learn more about a different culture, boost your self-confidence, and aspire at an outstanding academic future. You may know some French, but if you don’t travel abroad, you may not be able to speak the language out loud and express your point of view. Cross-cultural communication is yet another benefit of studying overseas. In 4 years, a student can learn to see life from different perspective. Your knowledge will be broader, and you’ll be more capable of handling a challenging job from an early age.

High potential for a well-paid job

As more companies move out from the regional and national environment to the global one, business owners and entrepreneurs constantly hunt for recent grads who have studied abroad. High-end enterprises deal with foreign associates on a daily basis. This means that a recent grad may be better qualified at age 23 than someone at 40 who hasn’t studied overseas. Even if a new graduate doesn’t have much practical experience, just because he studied abroad and has some basic understanding of what multi-cultural learning is, he might be offered a better paid position.

There’s no doubt that traveling overseas to study is an excellent idea. Sure, it might seem difficult to leave your home town, but it’s best to focus on the end result. When you get home, get a part-time job and look for student home rentals to be ready to enter the workforce. You’ll come back prepared to face even the most challenging situations at your new job.

This article was contributed by guest author Jason Phillips.