4 Unique Benefits of Studying Abroad

By Alicia Geigel on July 2, 2018

During your college career, there are plenty of opportunities that expose you to new ideas, beliefs, and cultures. Some students join campus clubs and organizations that cater to their interests, while others seek to experience a new world outside of what their university has to offer. Studying abroad is a great way to experience a new culture, go outside your comfort zone, make new friends, and have memories that will last a lifetime. There are many things to consider when thinking about studying abroad like what country you want to study in, which university you want to study at, which friends/classmates you want to travel with, when you want to go and perhaps most importantly, what the benefits are of going.

Deciding to study abroad is not an easy decision, as you have to consider your current/future schedules and any potential obligations that could be affected depending on the time you leave. Though coming to decision may be tough, studying abroad is definitely worth it in the end.

Suemedha Sood of the BBC notes some of the benefits stating, “For the students themselves, studying abroad can present opportunities for learning new languages, traveling, career development, experiencing new cultures and forming new friendships.” We’ll delve more into each of these benefits shortly!

Are you a college student considering studying abroad but are on the fence about the exact reasons to go? Having a hard time weighing the benefits of traveling across the world during college? Nervous that the experience won’t be worth it in the end? Check out my top four benefits of studying abroad below that will guide and assist you with your decision on why to go and do it!

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Image via Pixabay

1. Forming New Friendships

Making new friends can come naturally to some, but be completely discouraging to others. As intimidating as it may be to think about, studying abroad can create long last memories and relationships!

If you are studying abroad, there is a great chance that your university will have student organizations and clubs on campus. Clubs and student unions not only help to expose you to fun activities but they can also help broaden your social circle! More often than not, clubs and organizations hold events off campus and into surrounding local towns/cities, which can also help you familiarize yourself with your new home for the next semester!

2. Learning New Languages

We all have been exposed to new languages in high school, as it was most likely mandatory to take at least 2 years of a language course (whether it be Spanish, French, Italian, Mandarin, etc.) While it is certainly great to learn different languages while in high school, more often than not, students don’t get an opportunity to effectively use the language outside of school.

Studying abroad is a perfect chance to actually apply the countless hours of studying and practicing languages in school to the real world! Additionally, Mark Leinhart states another great takeaway from strengthening and using different languages abroad, stating, “Advanced language skills are a measure of advanced cultural skills. If you focus your attention on language learning, it’s simply inevitable that you’ll also learn valuable cultural skills.”

camera, pictures, photos, suitcase, luggage

Image via Pixabay 

3. Career Development

As stated earlier, studying abroad is a great opportunity for multiple reasons, including gaining new perspectives, learning new or strengthening existing languages, and experiencing new cultures. All of these contribute to a well-rounded person, someone who can easily apply newfound skills and experiences to the workforce. According to an article by TopUniversities.com, “Recruiters value the skills and attributes cultivated by studying abroad, including adaptability, resilience and independence, as well as the preparation it provides for working in a multicultural environment.”

4. Traveling

In this day and age, who doesn’t want to travel the world and sightsee something different than home? While I did not study abroad in college, I had the wonderful opportunity of being able to travel abroad twice — visiting Italy, Austria and Germany. Experiencing a different culture, diverse languages, interesting and delicious food, religious customs, and history was one of the greatest eye-opening experiences I have ever had in my life. It is so worth it to appreciate and immerse yourself in someone else’s shoes because it is through these differences, that we ultimately come to find we are more similar than we think!

According to a blog post by InternationalStudent.com, “By studying abroad, you will experience a brand-new country with incredible new outlooks, customs and activities,” with the benefits of studying abroad including, “the opportunity to see new terrains, natural wonders, museums and landmarks of your host nation.”

Whether or not you decide to study abroad, you can create memorable college experiences no matter where you are. If you do happen to decide to make the journey and go out of your comfort zone, good luck and have fun!

By Alicia Geigel

Uloop Writer
Temple alum | columnist at Uloop News | photographer | food blogger if you want to learn more about me, visit my profile and check out my articles!

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