7 Reasons to Study Abroad
1. Learn a New Language
If you happen to speak Chinese, English or Spanish as your primary language, you speak one of the top three spoken languages of the world as reported by Vistawide. Speaking a second language, though, can open doors for you both personally and professionally.
Fortunately, you can learn that second language when you study abroad. Here, you’re surrounded by native speakers every day, and you hear and practice your new language skills daily. In addition to learning the language, you’ll also learn valuable communication skills with residents of your host country.
The globe is shrinking, and you need to get in on the action. Because you’ve learned a new language, compete professionally on a global scale with others, walk through open doors of opportunity both at home and abroad and understand the world and its people better.
2. Embrace a Different Culture
Trying new foods and learning a new language are two cultural advantages you’ll enjoy when you travel to another country. However, a culture offers much more than these two important features. According to University of Minnesota researchers, the experience also expands your global engagement.
As you live, learn and explore in your host country, you are exposed to the values, beliefs and perceptions that form a culture’s core foundation. This knowledge provides you with the opportunity to truly understand the nuances that make your host country and its people unique and valuable. Use this knowledge to expand your worldview and embrace a culture that may be radically or minimally different than your own, and become a more well-rounded person because of the experience.
3. Discover Yourself
You already know all about your physical characteristics and personal preferences. You may even have a solidified belief system and values in place. What more is there for you to learn about yourself?
Living in another country makes it possible for you to discover yourself on a deeper level. While living abroad, refine your religious beliefs, find out how you handle adversity and learn more about your family history. The experience may even enable you to confront inner thoughts and emotions that keep you from living life to the fullest. All of these discoveries refine you as you discover yourself while studying abroad.
4. Gain Practical Skills
Studying in another country naturally includes academics as you take classes and earn college credits. You’ll learn more than what’s written in books, however. Numerous practical skills are learned during a study abroad experience.
Learn to navigate an unfamiliar city, make friends with strangers and barter at the local market. Prepare new dishes, discuss politics and face homesickness. These and other practical skills enhance your study abroad experience and improve your life during the experience and after your return home.
5. Become Self-Reliant
Even if you’re an independent and confident person, your self-reliance will grow when you live in a different country. After all, you’re suddenly surrounded by unfamiliar sights, smells and people. Everything is strange and possibly alarming.
Use the opportunity to navigate the challenge, cope with diversity and embrace the experience. Take the time to step out of your comfort zone as you meet and communicate with new people and live and interact every day in a foreign land. These skills demonstrate your self-reliance and fill you with confidence, esteem and ability to succeed at anything you try during your study abroad experience and after you return home.