Students of all concentrations are pursuing college abroad because of the fantastic personal and professional growth opportunities it offers. Students study abroad in a variety of countries around the world. The number of students studying abroad is on the rise – a report showed the number reached an all-time high in 2013. So why is studying abroad so popular? Here are six reasons learned from students who had the experience of a lifetime:
Lesson 1: You learn some serious responsibility
Oftentimes, students that study abroad haven’t been far from home without their parents, much less to another country. Dealing with extensive traveling, financial management, and making safe decisions abroad instills responsibility, benefitting the student beyond their trip. Studying abroad can serve as a tremendous opportunity for growth and self-reflection.
Lesson 2: You learn another culture
Studying abroad pushes students out of their comfort zone. Is it appropriate to shake hands? How are elders addressed? These are questions that we often take for granted when living in a comfortable culture. The world is a gigantic melting-pot of different cultures, beliefs and traditions. The best way to learn about another culture is to be immersed in it. You will no doubt come away with a better understanding and appreciation for the country’s history. You will have an incredible opportunity to experience a new way of life.
Lesson 3: You find that you appreciate where you came from
Though studying abroad sounds glamorous, students are bound to find that some of the conveniences available at home aren’t available in other countries. Additionally, students might encounter levels of poverty that aren’t seen where they came from. Did you know that 783 million people worldwide do not have access to clean and safe water? (Source – http://thewaterproject.org/water_stats) If you study in such a location, you will no doubt return with a renewed sense of appreciation and gratitude.
Lesson 4: You learn to make friends quickly
For many students, there are few times in their lives where they have to start completely over with making friends. When traveling to a foreign country, students get a chance to put those rusty friend-making skills to work, leading to better networking and social skills in the future.
Lesson 5: You learn independence
Students may be in countries where they don’t have a great grasp of the language or customs, and they learn to depend upon themselves. Gaining independence is a skill that will make students more self-sufficient and develop critical thinking – sure to impress future employers.
Lesson 6: You learn new ways to have fun
Maybe you weren’t a hiker back home or would never venture to eat crazy local foods, but students studying abroad should take every unique opportunity they can – the experience is sure to be enhanced.
Studying abroad is vastly popular because of the lessons it offers students that will help them grow personally and professionally while helping them advance in their studies and future careers.