Why should you Study Abroad?
Study abroad is an adventure that you will always remember, but there are many reasons to consider the option. Some are practicals, others are more personal, but all have the chance to impact your life.
Become More Marketable
As we move toward a more global marketplace, job candidates who are bilingual or exhibit an understanding for different cultures have an edge. The business world is full of anecdotes about how companies misunderstood a foreign market with disastrous results. On a more basic level, many employers recognize the qualities that exchange students must have before they go and probably acquire through their study abroad experience. Study abroad can illustrate boldness, flexibility, open-mindedness, confidence, character, and curiosity just to name a few traits. In interviews and on your resume, you should showcase your study abroad experience and tell how it makes you stand out.
Study Subjects in Context
It is an incredible experience to walk through the halls where kings signed treaties or stand amongst some of the world’s most incredible architecture still standing after centuries. Subjects that sometimes feel far-removed can come to life when you study abroad. At the very least, you will gain a new awareness of the world outside the U.S.
Learn About a Culture
Immersion teaches more about a culture than you could ever hope to learn in the U.S. Living in a foreign culture as opposed to visiting or just passing through, gives you a unique look at the people and places you see and explore while abroad.
Learn About the U.S.A.
American customs that we take for granted may become apparent as you compare and contrast them to those of your host country. In addition, study abroad offers the opportunity to understand cultures that lend themselves to the heritage of America’s “Melting Pot.”
Travel Around the World
Study abroad opens the door to travel all over the world. Once abroad, traveling is usually easy and inexpensive. Many countries have excellent transportation that in some cases can take you to another country in a matter of hours. You don’t need a car or lots of money, but you do need a budget and sense of adventure.
Meet Interesting People
Students who study abroad make contacts all over the world. Whether you want to practice a language, learn about a culture, or network for job prospects, people are your greatest resource. Many students return from studying abroad with friendships that cross cultures and last a lifetime. At the very least, you are guaranteed to meet people with a different perspective of the world we share.
Dwight D. Eisenhower once said, “If people get together, so eventually will nations”. Others in government like Thomas Jefferson, William J. Fulbright, John F. Kennedy, and President Obama have echoed similar sentiments. Study abroad might not just change your life, but the world.
Find Your Calling
For those unsure of what to do with their lives, study abroad can be an inspiration. It may give you the time and distance to clearly examine your choices in the U.S. or it might serve as the catalyst to an international career.
Become a Stronger Person
The experience expands your mind, but also instills confidence and self-reliance. Learn to navigate a German subway system or order from a menu written in French. The sense of accomplishment is great. After living in a foreign culture with its constant challenges, students say they feel more capable of facing life choices at home.