Personal benefits of studying abroad
Experiencing new countries and lifestyles
A huge draw of studying abroad is gaining life experience in a different country and culture. Immersing yourself in a new way of living can be scary at first, but tackling the challenges of living in a new country will grow your self-confidence and independence.
Getting to know a new place also means the opportunity to explore; you’ll learn all about local food, history, and customs. Although your university may be based in one city, there will be plenty of opportunities for traveling to other areas of the country, and maybe even other countries close by.
Weekend trips away can give you some much-needed relaxation from studying and help you get to know a country better.
Meeting new people
You’ll be able to meet a lot of new people from different backgrounds, adding to your understanding of the world and how to interact with a diverse range of people. A benefit of living abroad while studying is the access you’ll have to societies and sports teams, so meeting new people will never be an issue.
Improving language skills
The best way to improve your language skills is to live in a country that doesn’t speak your native language. Living in a different country increases your vocabulary daily, and introduces you to more colloquial ways of speaking in that language.
If you are wanting to perfect your English abilities, studying in an English speaking country is a great way to enhance your academic English, as well as your conversational skills and fluency.
If you’re already fluent in English, then studying abroad may give you the ability to study in English, but learn an additional language from the local community depending on where the university is based.
Academic benefits of studying abroad
Gaining career options
Being able to speak more than one language is always a highly regarded skill, and can open up the opportunity to work in a number of other countries.
Some international students decide to apply for work visas when their course has finished as they wish to search for jobs in that country. Studying abroad can open up a new world of job opportunities in another country, broadening your postgraduate options.
The personal skills you develop while studying abroad can also be appealing to prospective employers. The willingness you’ve shown to step out of your comfort zone, your global outlook and your independence will be traits shown through your decision to study abroad.
Getting a higher quality of education
One of the main reasons to study abroad is the standard of teaching, as it may be higher than in your home country. Having access to a higher level of education can help you in your chosen career, meaning studying abroad could be great value for money.
Having the option to study abroad also means a wider pool of universities to pick from. If you know the type of undergraduate or postgraduate program you want to study, you can find universities that are world-renowned in that subject, and not be limited by what’s available in your country.
Sometimes studying abroad simply makes more sense: you could study roman history in Italy, or English literature in the UK.
Applying for further study
Completing a degree abroad can be a real testament to your academic merit. If you’re looking to do a higher degree, studying abroad can help boost your application and personal statement, showing your dedication to your chosen subject.
The international academic community is an important aspect of research, so having studied in a different country means you will have international connections and fresh ideas on topics; this can be appealing to universities looking for master’s degree or PhD candidates
It makes you a more interesting person
It’s a cliché, but studying abroad really does broaden your horizons. Being in a foreign country and seeing how other cultures approach life makes you challenge your assumptions. It makes you see things from another point of view, which turns you into a more rounded and more open-minded person.
It gives you something to talk about
Studying abroad will help you become one of those people you have always envied ? someone who can keep a dinner party enthralled with their portfolio of fascinating stories. When you get home from studying abroad you too will have plenty to talk about, from the interesting people you have met, to the amazing sights you have seen. You will also be able to pull out some amusing anecdotes about your attempts to deal with culture shock.
You get to learn a new language
If you study abroad in a country where they don’t speak your native language, you will have an excellent opportunity to learn theirs. There is nothing like living in a country to learn its language. If you already know the basics of the language, this is your opportunity to improve your fluency.
It looks good on your résumé/ CV
Having a period spent studying abroad on your CV tells employers that you are a well-travelled person who is open to different cultures and different points of view. It also suggests that you have the ability to be independent and that you likely possess valuable language skills.
Better learning opportunities
Studying abroad makes it easier for you to receive the best possible teaching in your chosen field of study. This is because you can apply to study at the leading institutions in the world for your subject, rather than settling on what institutions are close to home.
It takes you out of your comfort zone
Moving abroad to study forces you to be independent and not rely on family members for support. You will have to work out for yourself how everything works in your host country. This gives you the opportunity to confront any social anxieties you may have and become a more confident person as a result. You will realise that you can do much more for yourself than you previously thought.
You can create social networks around the world
Not only will you mix with people who come from your host country, but you will also meet lots of other international students from around the world. You will hopefully create contacts and friends for life, whom you can visit whenever you are in their neck of the woods.