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Top 7 Reasons to Study Abroad
Why do so many students choose to study abroad? The benefits of studying abroad are innumerable, and for many, the attraction of living in a new place is enough to sell them on the idea. But in case you still have hesitations, we’ve put together a list of the top reasons for studying abroad. Let’s get into it:
Also see: All about studying abroad
1. Meet new people
Most study abroad students show up with a few people from their school, at most. They typically don’t know many people, and as a result, they end up making lots of new friends. Most study abroad programs plan events to introduce students to one another and form friendships. Being with a stranger in a place that is new to both of you is a great way to form a long-lasting bond.
Because most study abroad programs attract students from all around the world, you’ll also have the chance to make friends who come from a dramatically different upbringing. This can lead to new types of friendships you haven’t experienced before. Whether your new friend is from the place you are studying in, or from somewhere else, you’ll gain insight into how people live in another part of the world.
2. See the world without the responsibilities of adulthood
As a student in college, your primary objective is learning. Colleges and study abroad programs typically take steps to alleviate other burdens from students’ lives. The pressures of various bills to pay and paperwork to file are typically confined to the period before your semester begins, leaving you to devote yourself to your studies throughout the year.
This is a unique mindset that you may not maintain after graduation. By taking the opportunity to see the world as a student, you’re taking advantage of a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. You can focus on your education and your exploration and little else. It is likely going to be very difficult to take a three-month trip to another country once you’ve graduated – take the opportunity while you can!
3. Learn from new cultures
Different cultures around the world have entirely different ways of seeing the world and going about their daily lives. As you meet people from new places, you’ll find yourself investigating things that you’ve never questioned before, and learning more about the world and your place in it. Seeing different lifestyles may encourage you to adjust your own, and allows you to pick and choose aspects of cultures around the world to create a better life for yourself.
You’ll also be able to better contextualize your own upbringing and see how your worldview fits into the scheme of people around the world. This helps you figure out who you are and the ideologies and cultures you’ve come from.
4. Become a more resilient person
Living in a new place and finding your way there is a skill that takes a lot of resiliency and open-mindedness. As you learn to navigate through a new place full of different people, you’ll learn a lot of problem solving skills and become a more observant person. As long as you keep an open mind throughout the semester, you’ll constantly be learning – even just by walking down the street.
During most semesters abroad, some things are bound to not go as planned. But mistakes are great opportunities for growth, and as unexpected things happen to a student, they will learn to roll with the punches. This skill will come in handy for the rest of their life.
5. Gain a greater understanding for humanity as a whole
By seeing how other parts of the world live, you’ll gain a greater compassion for people everywhere. When you see the many different ways that people live and the different beliefs they hold, you’ll be seeing a bigger portrait of what it means to be human.
This trait will come in handy anywhere you go – you’ll find it easier to get along with people, to see where they’re coming from, and why they act the way they act. These are all skills that carry over into family life, the workplace, traveling, and pretty much anything you do.
Also see: Top scholarships for college freshmen
6. See new and exciting places
Getting to see new places is a great benefit of studying abroad. From the different architectural styles, different climates, and different topographical features, you’ll find yourself engrossed in all of the new things out there to see. You might even find your future home during your study abroad – some students fall in love with the place where they study and end up finding a job there after graduation.
7. Experience an enriching out-of-classroom experience
Studying abroad is full of experiences that can never take place in a classroom. Walking through the streets of a foreign city and watching the locals, figuring out how to ask when the bus will arrive in another language, or being invited for dinner at the house of a local family, are all incredibly educational experiences that can only be obtained out in the world.
Studying abroad is a great way to invite these scenarios into your life, and to have the time to process them and learn from them. Because many study abroad programs have relatively light course loads compared to your home university, they allow for time to find yourself in more real-world educational scenarios.
Also see: Top scholarships for foreign languages
Studying abroad is an amazing experience that most students remember fondly for the rest of their lives. That is not to say it is without its challenges; living in a new place and navigating the difficulties that come from being among a new culture and far from home can present a lot of difficulty. But a smooth sea never made a skilled sailor! With those challenges will come great growth and a lot of fun experiences. Most students who take the plunge don’t regret it.
If finances are holding you back from studying abroad, don’t let the dream die just yet. Many study abroad programs offer significant scholarships, including free flights to and from your destination. We can also help out with our list of study abroad scholarships. You can also make a plan to save up for your semester abroad. Try our tips for making money in college and our guide to saving money. You can also try our guide to making a college budget. A few semesters of shrewd saving might just make your study abroad dreams come true.
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