1. Experience a Foreign Culture
Study abroad is an entirely different experience. When you study abroad, you participate in the day-to-day life of a new locale, gaining a first-hand understanding and new appreciation of the culture.
Studying abroad provides social and cultural benefits. Studying abroad, make lifetime friendships with fellow classmates as well as with native students. The memories and friendships made could last forever and could open up a global network of job prospects and connections. If you leaves your house shy, it is entirely plausible that you will return from studying abroad much less so. Living and studying overseas fosters a sense of teamwork in students — as the group travels together, they experience the challenges of a multicultural situation together. On the other end, students also learn to depend on themselves, how to ask questions and be proactive, and provide and solicit help.
The cultural benefits of studying abroad are more obvious. Spending extended time in a foreign country tends to open students’ eyes wider when they look at the world. They may be more reflective about their own culture and what that culture has instilled in them. Students are likely to have increased respect for other cultures and appreciate the differences between cultures, and this openness to different approaches makes them better problem-solvers and team players.
2. Improve Your Second Language Skills
You may already be fluent in a second language, or you might study abroad in one of the many countries where English is spoken as a first language. However, studying abroad can provide you with a perfect opportunity to learn a new foreign language.
Being surrounded by native speakers affords you the chance to immerse yourself in the language, which can expedite your retention and fluency. Furthermore, if you travel to a country in which the primary language is one you’ve studied in school, you can add to your vocabulary colloquial words and phrases that may not appear in the textbooks.
3. Become More Independent
Studying abroad removes you from the normal support network that you are accustomed to back home. While on the one hand, being away from friends and family can seem daunting, it is also a chance for you to hone your own skills and gain some independence.
Whether it’s washing your laundry or buying groceries, you will learn to take responsibility for your actions. When you return home, your increased independence will be very useful – it can help you in your job search, at home, or in your day-to-day routines.
4 Manage Your Own Finances
One major aspect of being an independent adult is having the ability to manage your own finances. Regardless of whether your study abroad program is financed by a scholarship, grant, or another source of income, chances are that it will be your responsibility to pay the bills.
Furthermore, living in a new country also forces you to learn to understand a new form of currency, and familiarize yourself with the various living expenses. Understanding how to manage your expenses will especially be beneficial when you no longer rely on the support of your family.
5. Increase Your Employment Prospects
Employers value prospective candidates with international experience, foreign language skills, and the ability to communicate across cultures. If you’re interested in pursuing a career in international relations, diplomacy, or government, these skills will be especially useful.
Use your experience studying abroad to expand your set of abilities, and make these a determining factor that will separate you from the others in a pool of applicants.
6 Network for Your Future
In addition to making friends, you can also form professional contacts while abroad. Generally speaking, course loads tend to be comparatively lighter while studying abroad, so this can be an ideal occasion to intern, work part-time, or volunteer while you’re studying.
Consult your college or university to see whether they help you find internships or work placements abroad. Sometimes, you can even get credit from your home institution. When you’re finished working abroad, be sure to ask for a recommendation letter to testify that you worked abroad, and to share with future prospective employers.