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Are you thinking about studying abroad during college? Do it. I have studied abroad, even completed my Master’s abroad and it was hands down one of the best experiences of my life. This blog post describes what I found to be the most important 10 reasons to study abroad and how you can make the most of your stay abroad. Living abroad will make you a different person and it will change you forever… in a good way!!! I lived abroad for more than 4 years now, in the US and China. It was and still is the biggest adventure of my life!
10 reasons to study abroad
#1 Improve your language skills
Learning or improving foreign language skills are the main reasons why many students go abroad. Certainly, being surrounded by a foreign language and using it on a daily basis can be a great and easy way to improve your language skills. But the success depends on many factors.
– Have a basic understanding of the language and vocabulary before you go to avoid frustration
– Go to a dialect-free region to learn the purest language
– Try to avoid speaking in your mother tongue or English (if this is not the language you plan on improving)
– Practice the language as often as you can. May be you can get a tutor for free, when you teach him or her your native language?
– Learn the conversational language as well as some terminology of your field of study to make the most out of your stay abroad
Find out how you can learn a foreign language in just weeks here!
#2 Experience the Culture
Living abroad will show you a new culture from a deeper perspective than ever before. Depending on how exotic and foreign the culture you are going to is, the adjustment process will be anything from easy to nerve wrecking and frustrating. But dealing with this new situation will make you grow and become more open to other perspectives on life. Remember when you come home, shaking your head about the strange behavior of the people around you: Your way is not better than theirs, it’s just different.
#3 Extend your network
Networking is a buzz word of our times. Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter are just a few social and professional networking sites that help us to stay connected and use our connections as potential resources. Imagine in a couple of years, you are working in your job and suddenly your company wants to expand to the country you have studied in. Guess who will be a valuable resource for your company, because you can just pick up the phone and connect with several local people there that can give you valid and accurate information in an instant?
#4 Improve your job chances
Yes, experience abroad will give you an advantage over other applicants on the job market. HR managers value international experience highly, as this set of candidates is known as adaptable, independent, problem solvers and open. Having spent time abroad will definitely give you a competitive advantage over your competitors in the job market. Sheila Curran provides more information on the career advantages of studying abroad. Check it out!
#5 Get away from home
Living abroad can have another simple advantage for some of us. Getting out of your comfort zone is certainly not easy, but it will help you to grow. Go out there and experience the world, see it as an adventure that you will tell your grandkids about! Sometimes you have to push yourself and then you will be rewarded with this awesome feeling of accomplishment. Trust me, it’s worth it!!!
#6 Become independent
Living in a foreign country all by yourself will inevitably make you independent. You are forced to as you don’t have another choice, swim or drown, live or die… no, its not that bad, in fact, it is a great chance. Show yourself, your parents and friends that you can do it- DIY-Style! Show them that they were all so wrong about you being a mama’s boy (or girl)! It will feel great! But don’t be afraid, in case of emergency, you can hop on a plane and be home within 24 hours.
#7 Create a memory of a lifetime
Spending time abroad will be an adventure and those memories will last a lifetime. You will always remember the people you met, the things you experienced and the instances where you made a complete fool out of yourself. I know a lot of people that lived abroad and none of them regrets the time they spent abroad. Yes, there will be difficult times, when you don’t understand the people around you, everything is foreign and nothing makes sense and everyday tasks seem like a major problem. But I can tell you from my experience, it is definitely worth it!
#8 Change your perspective
Your time abroad will put you in a foreign and new situation and you will have to deal with this to succeed. But a stay abroad will open your eyes and open your mind. You will understand that there is not just one way to achieve things, but many of equal value. In my eyes, this is one of the most important lessons I have learned during my time abroad and I hope you will too!
#9 Improve your cultural understanding
When you immerse in a different culture, you will have to adapt to it to make every day life easier. Different cultures have different perspectives, values, traditions and customs and living in this culture will teach you how to behave yourself in this setting. Living in this different culture will help you to adapt to different behaviors and cultural settings. Cultural awareness and adaptability will be a major asset for you and for your future employer in this globalized world
#10 Learn about yourself
The last of my 10 reasons to study abroad, came a bit as a surprise to me. When I went abroad for the first time, I was stunned how much I learned about myself and about my own (German) culture. It is very fascinating to see, how people in other countries see your country, learn about the stereotypes they associate with them and how you can influence their impression by your actions. Many people that go abroad also say that they have learned a great deal about themselves, what is important to them and where they want to go in their life. What will you discover about yourself.
I hope you enjoyed these 10 reasons to study abroad and that I provided you with some insights why you should study abroad.
10 reasons to study abroad – Picture credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/mbamax/10395184014