You might have spent the end of high school worrying about getting into college, but now you’re there, don’t you feel like going somewhere else? Something that a lot of students consider doing during their higher education is spending a semester abroad. It allows you the opportunity to see a different part of the world at a time in your life when you have more freedom to travel and explore. If this sounds like something that might interest you, there are a wealth of benefits that come with studying abroad.
Improving your language skills
If you’re doing a degree in languages, then spending a semester abroad is virtually essential to getting a good grade. However, the opportunity to be surrounded by a new language is something that should appeal to anyone, no matter what subject they’re majoring in. These are skills that will look good on a job application, and may well serve you well in the future.
Plus, if you’ve always wanted to learn a specific language, there’s no better experience than studying in the country where it’s spoken. You’ll pick things up much quicker than taking classes once a week.
Expanding your social circle
While you’re young, it’s pretty easy to make new friends. These are the people you want to be by your side through your adult years, so it’s good to make some close ones while you’re still a student. Why stick to just the friends you’ve made at college, though?
Having a semester abroad allows you to meet even more new people, and make connections with students you’d never have met otherwise. What’s more, having strong relationships with people in another country could be useful for networking in the future.
Discovering a different culture
Studying abroad can be a lot for someone to handle. Moving away for college is already a big deal without then jumping on a plane and flying halfway across the world. However, aside from getting you a degree, the point of college is to prepare you for being an adult. It’s a time for you to grow up and be mature, and immersing yourself in a new culture can do that.
You’ll see how different life is in another country, and that can change you forever. It will give you a new appreciation for life, and for the wider world, which is more than your degree alone can ever teach you.
Enhancing your future applications
Employers and graduate school admissions boards alike look very highly upon people who spend time studying abroad. It shows that you’re willing to take on challenges, no matter how intimidating they may be. Throwing yourself into a completely different culture isn’t easy, but coming out the other side is worth its weight in gold. You’ll find it a lot easier to land the job that you want if you have something like this on your applications.
Exploring the world
The most significant benefit to studying abroad is the opportunity to see more of the world. The chances are that unless you went on lots of exotic vacations while growing up, you’ve never seen much of the world before. Most young people haven’t, but it’s during their early adult years that they make up for this lost time. Having a semester abroad will let you check one more country off your bucket list, allowing you to focus your later years on visiting other places around the world.
Also, depending on where you choose to study, you may even be able to visit surrounding countries on the weekends. It’s basically one big vacation… only with a lot of work.
Studying abroad isn’t for everyone, especially if you struggle with being away from home. However, if you feel prepared to spend a couple of months in a different country, then you should absolutely jump at the opportunity to do so. It’s not often in your life that you’ll get a chance like this. Don’t throw it away.