Studying abroad can be the most memorable experience of your university life. When you live in a foreign country and learn within their school system, you gain wisdom that you couldn’t possibly get back at home. Below, we’ve shared five incredible benefits to a study abroad program, and why you should seriously consider enrolling in one before graduation.
Typically, college is the first time that a student lives alone and sets his or her own schedule. This is a massive step into adulthood, but a study abroad program takes it to another level. Now, you’ll need to learn how to navigate a different education system, understand the customs, taste new foods, and much more. At first, it will be a challenge, but over the course of your program, you’ll start to see the world from an entirely new perspective.
If you’ve ever wanted to become fluent in a second language, the best way to do it is immersion. It’s technically possible to achieve by using English in most countries, but once you venture outside of major cities, you’ll have a much harder time communicating with the locals. Instead, we recommend taking a language course at your host university, attending language meetups in town, and practicing phrases in real-world situations. When you commit to using a language on a regular basis, it stays with you.
In a way, study abroad programs feel like a United Nations for college students. You’ll get a chance to meet people from dozens of countries. During orientation, it almost feels like an international summer camp because nobody knows each other and you’re all looking to make friends. In those first few weeks, you’ll make lasting connections that will stay with you for life, and you’ll have a network of friends to stay with when you travel to their hometowns.
Throughout the study abroad experience, you’ll encounter plenty of challenges that take you out of your comfort zone. At times, you’ll wish you were back at home with close friends and family, eating at your favorite restaurants and hanging out in familiar places. In the moment, this will feel difficult, but it will also teach you to be much more adaptable. Once you’ve gained that life experience, you’ll be able to handle whatever the world throws at you.
Finally, hiring managers are looking for candidates that stand out. If you have a study abroad program listed on your resume, you’ll gain a few brownie points for taking a risk and doing something challenging. You’ll also have the perfect segue to tell an exciting story about your overseas experience.
Ready to explore the world? With a study abroad program, you can immerse yourself in a new culture and make plenty of friends along the way.