Should College Students Do a Semester or Summer Abroad?

Should College Students Do a Semester or Summer Abroad?

If you’re a college student who has been seriously considering going overseas to study for a semester or two, the first thing that comes to our minds is “Great! It is a life-changing experience that will only broaden your horizons and cause you to grow in ways that no other opportunity could.”

Of course, it is a big step that requires a certain level of personal maturity and responsibility, so if you’re not yet totally sold on the idea, but you’re looking for some clear and concrete reasons to take going aboard under serious consideration, we have five for you right here:

It will develop you personally. Anytime you are around a different kind of culture, it challenges you to develop a different side of yourself as you learn more about the uniqueness that is around you. By studying abroad, not only does it take you to a new level of independence, but also it helps to increase your confidence levels as you interact with a world that initially is unfamiliar and eventually becomes a part of your everyday life (even if it’s temporarily).

It improves your academic skills. What grows a person is not doing the same thing all of the time, but branching out and trying something different. Studying abroad not only enhances your learning abilities and helps you to better retain what you’re studying, but if you are staying in a place that speaks a language that is foreign to you, it can help you to learn how to communicate bilingually and that’s always a huge asset in the workplace.

It teaches you (more) about the world. It’s one thing to sit and watch movies about another country. It’s another matter entirely to go somewhere and experience it for yourself. By “it” when mean the food, the people, the language, the architecture—the culture. When you make a concerted effort to immerse yourself in surroundings that are unfamiliar to you, it helps you to appreciate another side of the world. It can also help you to be more compassionate and cooperative with others as well.

It can solidify your career path. Many people have been known for studying one field, going abroad and then returning to do something totally different. For instance, you might leave as a junior in college studying communications. However, after a semester of not just studying abroad, but also teaching English, you might return with a desire to get a masters degree in education instead of becoming a journalist. The moral to the story is there: There’s no way that going to live in another country for a few months won’t change your life and for many, it’s not just personally, but professionally too.

It’s a nice resume-builder. Just like colleges look for well-rounded high school students (individuals who didn’t just get good grades, but were also involved in community services and extracurricular activities), many employers have a similar mindset. Once you graduate and you apply for a job, you definitely want to stand out from the rest of the applicants. To have spent some time in another country, undoubtedly, you will appear exceptional and not the “rule”.

 

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