We’re sure that along the years, you may have met people that have studied abroad. They might have described their experience there as an otherworldly study abroad experience. However, having a lovely time in a new country while studying isn’t the only thing you’ll get out of this academic adventure. There are countless benefits of studying abroad that you, as an international student, will be eligible for. So, if you’re asking yourself, ‘why should I study abroad?’., we got some good answers for you to check out.
1. Learn a New Language
Moving to a new country means that you’re not going to be using your native language as much as you did back home. If you look at it, this is quite a benefit. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you should abandon your mother tongue. The beauty of learning an additional language is that you and your brain would certainly benefit from it.
What’s best, the demand for bilingual individuals is increasing with each year that passes. So, with that being said, after getting proficient at a second language, the chances of you landing the job of your dreams will increase moderately.
2. Give a Real-Life Context to Your Studies
Several countries have programs that incorporate classroom learning with in-field learning experiences. This is done with the intention of complementing and enriching the academic learning experience for international students. Depending on your major and the country you’re studying in, you’re going to be introduced to things that will make it easier for you to grasp different abstract concepts and notions that otherwise you wouldn’t understand.
3. Become a Good Communicator
Living in a country where your first language isn’t spoken will undoubtedly improve your communication skills. You will have to find ways to express yourself even if you don’t speak the official language of the country you’re studying in.
However, being a good communicator isn’t only bridging the language barrier. A new country also means that you will encounter people of different cultural backgrounds that approach life differently. Talking to them daily will give you a hand in becoming a better communicator than you were on your beginnings of moving.
4. Make Lifelong Friends
An impactful experience like studying abroad will certainly get you close to different people. Starting with classmates you’re going to be spending most of the time with. You’re going to be growing and learning with them. It’s inevitable that you spend all this time with them and not make meaningful connections and relationships.
At the beginning of the studies abroad, many might worry that making friends in a foreign country will be challenging. However, you’ll most probably come to realize there was no need in worrying about it. Just like you, many people are just navigating through the new academic life. Through the many social events that the universities organize and school projects you’ll be working on, you’ll get the chance to meet new people who, chances are, might become very close to you.
5. Expand Your Worldview
We talk about perspectives all the time. We mention how we need to look at things from different perspectives. Yet, the ways how one can gain new perspectives aren’t talked about that often. Well, one of the ways you as a person can develop a new perspective is by studying abroad. As the months go by, you’ll see that the way you used to view the world will be continuously challenged.
The chances are that some of your values will shift, whereas the ones that carry weight will be solidified, and as a result, you’ll come out of this experience a more well-rounded person.
6. Impress Your Future Employers
At the end of the day, the reason (besides getting educated) why many people decide to pursue an education, be it in their country or outside of it, is to land a decent job that pays decently. Luckily, the interest for bilingual individuals is only increasing. Studies done on this subject only confirm this advantage.
Many companies who have their headquarters in many different countries are on the lookout for people who speak more than one language. While English as a lingua franca can serve you quite well, in today’s climate, people of all ethnicities and backgrounds must be included. So the more languages you know, the better the chances of you getting hired will be.
Besides being bilingual, another benefit that raises your chances of landing your dream job is your international experience. Nowadays, companies are looking for employees who have international experience and transferable skills like flexibility to challenges, something you can only get from studying abroad.
A recent study found that almost 40 percent of companies couldn’t close deals on international business opportunities because they didn’t have personnel with international experience. So, why not be the one to whom the boss says: “Pack your luggage. We need you overseas.”.
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7. Learn About New Cultures and Gain Perspective
Living in our own country for quite a long time makes us forget that many other different cultures exist. However, once you get out of the country, you find yourself completely immersed in a culture that isn’t yours. You’ll get to explore everything the other culture has to offer, starting with the food, local activities, their music, and their social etiquette.
Talking to other people about the country you come from and your culture, you get the chance to see your culture from somebody else’s eyes. You get to learn many things about yourself and the country you come from.
Besides learning about others’ cultures and their way of living, studying abroad also helps you learn about the global market from a different perspective and experience various ways of doing business. Seeing first-hand how different countries approach some aspects of business teaches you new methods of getting things done, and the best thing is that you can take your new business skills and experience back in your home country or wherever you decide to continue your career.
8. Boost Your Confidence
Moving to another country for an extended time means that you’re going to be on your own for quite some time. The experience of living alone in a foreign country will help you develop a sense of independence as you’re going to figure out everything on your own. From ordering a meal to using public transportation, you’ll be depending on yourself for every single thing. While it can sound overwhelming, this experience will only help you realize how capable a person you are. Consequently, by getting out of your comfort zone, your confidence will only increase.
Another way how studying abroad boosts your confidence is by preparing you with soft skills that will help you a lot in your workplace, such as:
Leadership – While you probably won’t be leading a huge company in your first year of studies, there are a lot of small things that teach you how to lead. Be it a class project with other international students or an internship during the summer, you’ll be developing management skills that are important almost everywhere.
Communication skills – No matter where life brings you, you need to communicate with others. We’re not only talking about speaking the same language and understanding each other; we’re talking about negotiation skills, public speaking, and written communication. Refining these skills allows you to sit at the table with confidence like never before.
9. Find Job Opportunities Abroad
Many students go to study abroad with the intention of going back to their country once they finish their academic journey. However, this isn’t always the case. It happens that you’re presented with a job opportunity that is a once-in-a-lifetime chance, and you can’t turn it down. By this, we want you to know that once you get a degree from an accredited university, it’s recognized in almost every country, including the country you got that degree in the first place.
Once you consider staying in the new country for a long-term period, you can start to evaluate the job opportunities that will come your way and find the one that fits you best.
10. Become a Global Citizen
Being born and raised in a particular country and not having the chance to move out of it time after time can somehow leave someone oblivious of the world surrounding them. While they’re not completely unaware, as we all know the world is a big place, they kind of don’t understand the wider world and their place in it. However, once you move abroad to study for a semester or a year, you find yourself connecting with the rest of the world in a way you couldn’t connect from back home.
Once out of your homeland, you’ll develop a deeper understanding of the issues that affect the world, how different events impact particular countries and know your role in making the planet a more sustainable place. The countries which once felt like they were light-years away now will feel more personal as you’ve lived in those countries and made friends over there.
11. Life Experience
Without a doubt, studying abroad will boost your career and personal skills, making you more ready than ever for whatever the world brings you. However, don’t forget that between your morning and afternoon lectures, between your daily meetings and assignments, between your exams and your thesis, there’s another thing that keeps happening: life!
If you return to your home country after studying abroad, there are a ton of things you can take with you. University books you can look back to, lecture notes you can revise, and research skills that may come to help. But, there’s one thing you can’t relive, and that’s life experiences. So, whenever you get the chance, invite that friend for a coffee, drink that glass of wine in your favorite bar, and take those pictures in the main city square. Trust us, it’s something you won’t regret.
Many times, when not entirely convinced, students are on the lookout for reasons to study abroad. So, if you too are one of them, we hope we have given you enough reasons to even consider an experience abroad. The University of the Potomac is always open to international students who want to study abroad in the U.S.A, more specifically in the capital city of this country, Washington D.C..