If you’re seeking something different, want to travel, or learn a new language, studying abroad is an excellent way to become immersed in the culture of another country.
Studying abroad not only offers an unforgettable experience, but it can also help you reach your academic and life objectives! So how do you decide if this path is for you?
1. You’ll learn a new language
Studying abroad can be beneficial if you want to learn a language for personal reasons or for professional advancement. Studies have demonstrated that students who study abroad typically master the language faster than their non-study peers since they use it daily in daily life.
By studying abroad, you’ll gain a unique cultural experience that will increase your awareness of other cultures and foster respect for different points of view. This is an invaluable skill in today’s globalized world where employers seek employees with global perspectives and sensitive approaches.
Learning a new language can be intimidating, but there are steps you can take to make the process go more smoothly. One of the best ways to ensure you make the most out of your study abroad experience is selecting an institution that emphasizes language acquisition through cultural immersion.
Another way to learn a language is by starting to become acquainted with it before arriving on campus. This can be done through watching films, TV shows and music in the target language. Furthermore, speaking with people from that culture before leaving home may prove beneficial when conversing in that language.
If you’re learning a language, it’s essential to remember that mastery takes years of hard work and dedication. While this may seem like an interminable journey, the effort pays off once you can hold conversations in the target language and comprehend what others are saying.
Finally, your confidence in speaking the language will grow as well. You’ll be able to interact with others more meaningfully and express yourself without fear of rejection or ridicule.
If you’re thinking about studying abroad, take the time to carefully weigh all your options and weigh their advantages and drawbacks. If unsure which program is ideal for you, reach out to your college or advisor for assistance; they can assist in selecting which option best meets your goals while providing all necessary resources so you can get started!
2. You’ll experience a new culture
As a student, it’s essential to learn how to adjust to new environments and cultures. Studying abroad can provide students with this invaluable skill set.
Studies have demonstrated that individuals who have lived in another culture tend to be better at communicating effectively with people of different backgrounds. This can make them more successful in their career and give them a global perspective.
Exploring a different culture can be an exhilarating and adventurous endeavor. You’ll get to try foods you’ve never tasted before, visit landmarks that are unfamiliar to you, and embrace cultures that differ from your own.
However, it’s essential to remember that not all cultures are alike and you may find some aspects of a culture you don’t enjoy. Dealing with culture shock may be difficult at first, but with time and patience you will get used to it.
One way to minimize culture shock is by researching your host country before arriving. This will give you a better insight into what to expect from their culture, enabling you to adjust faster.
Another excellent way to gain insight into a culture is by spending time with its inhabitants. These individuals can teach you much about their country and give you an intimate view of everyday life there.
Take advantage of any travel opportunities your program provides you. Many have weekend excursions and academic breaks that give you a chance to see what else the United States has to offer.
The best part of all is that these experiences can be an exciting way to bond with classmates. These relationships will last a lifetime and serve as some of the fondest memories you’ll have when looking back on your high school years.
Though it may be challenging at first, studying abroad is an incredible opportunity that offers you a life-altering experience you won’t find elsewhere. It will test you, help you develop as an individual, and prepare you for whatever comes your way in life.
3. You’ll make new friends
Studying abroad is an incredible opportunity to meet new people and form friendships with students from around the world. Many of these connections will last a lifetime, becoming invaluable resources when you return home.
Studying abroad offers you the unique opportunity to immerse yourself in a different culture and master a foreign language. However, mastering a second language isn’t something most people are naturally gifted at; it often takes years of dedicated practice for fluency.
If you’re studying abroad in a city or country where English isn’t widely spoken, it’s essential to gain an extensive knowledge of the language beforehand. Doing so will enable you to interact with locals more comfortably and get acquainted with their customs and stories.
Additionally, you should become acquainted with the history of your host city. Doing so will give you a better insight into its culture and make future visits there even more enjoyable.
Another way to make friends while studying abroad is by participating in activities in your city of residence. Attending cultural events like concerts, exhibits, markets and festivals offers you a chance to interact with like-minded individuals who share an enthusiasm for what you are doing.
Alternatively, you can join sports clubs and social groups at your university. These are an excellent way to make friends and have some fun in the process!
Striking up conversations with strangers in an unfamiliar setting can be intimidating, but it is necessary for you to step outside your comfort zone and engage with those who are unfamiliar to you.
Start by inviting some friends over for coffee or tea, or go out together with a group of them and explore the area together. That way, you won’t feel so isolated from others trying to make friends; instead, surround yourself with people who share your interest in making new connections and don’t worry about being shy at all!
When possible, it’s beneficial to stay in local housing as this increases the chances of making friends with local students. Furthermore, living with other international students can help alleviate homesickness and maximize your study abroad experience.
4. You’ll get a new perspective
Studying abroad can transform you as a person in ways you may not even realize. You’ll push yourself out of your comfort zone, meet people from around the world, and explore things in an entirely new light. It’s truly an eye-opening experience!
Students who study abroad report that their time away has a lasting effect on both their lives and worldview. According to CIEE‘s survey, 96% of students stated that studying abroad helped them build confidence and self-awareness; 89% agreed it had a beneficial influence on their worldview; and 72% showed empathy towards people from different cultures.
Empathy can be an invaluable skill for students as they embark on their professional lives. Employers highly value candidates who possess empathy and the capacity to engage with people from various backgrounds and lifestyles.
Additionally, studying abroad can develop your language skills and foster a closer connection to a country you don’t know. This is invaluable for your resume, and it could even open the door for employment in another country should you decide to settle down there one day.
Navigating life abroad can teach you critical thinking and problem-solving abilities. Not only that, but taking on new challenges will develop valuable life-skills that will benefit both your career and personal life.
You’ll gain a newfound appreciation for the things in your own home. Living on a budget and having less material possessions than back at your parents’ can be challenging, but it will also teach you to value the small things that were once taken for granted.
Your newfound empathy will forever transform how you view life. Your newfound empathy will allow you to gain an intimate understanding of other cultures’ thoughts, feelings, and lifestyles.
Some colleges require students to take a study abroad course before they graduate, in order to promote cross-cultural communication and collaboration. Goucher College in Maryland, for instance, requires that students complete at least one semester of study abroad before earning their diplomas; similarly Soka University of America in California makes study abroad one of their graduation requirements.