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Top 10 Reasons to Study Abroad
Not sure a year abroad as part of your studies is for you? We’re here to tell you why it should be. From language learning to impressing your future employers, read on for our top ten reasons to study abroad…
By Gemma Ashworth
1. A rare opportunity
Not everyone gets the chance to study abroad. If offered, it’s an opportunity you simply have to take. Many students choose this option for the experience of moving abroad, plus the additional educational, personal, and travel benefits. Going to university abroad provides the opportunity to enhance your education and is a benefit to your future; moving out of your comfort zone to learn from a new perspective definitely looks good on your CV! If you don’t enjoy it, you can get on a plane home and continue your studies regardless – what is there to lose?
2. The chance to travel
Moving to a new country can improve accessibility to different parts of the world. Flight paths may be faster and prices cheaper to destinations you always wanted to visit or places you never even considered going. Locally, weekends and semester breaks can allow you to explore the country you reside in, utilising your new location to go on an adventure. Whether you travel solo or in a group of your newfound peers, it’s the perfect opportunity to explore places and cultures you’ve never seen or experienced before.
3. Broadening your education
Although most universities have similar focuses across their curriculum, studying abroad can give you a broader choice of options within your degree programme. These variations can increase your breadth of knowledge and may open up an avenue in your studies you may never have considered. Being taught by different lecturers, who are likely to be experts in their field, will improve your learning and can spark more interest in your degree. Similarly, your host university may even specialise in an aspect of the course that wasn’t previously available, allowing you to branch out beyond your original expectations of the degree.
4. International friends
Moving abroad will allow you to develop friendships with new people. The process of developing relationships with other students may feel awkward at first, but it can lead to life-long friendships. You will have fellow international students sharing the same excitement and fear as you, alongside classmates who grew up in your new country. This companionship with those who know the area can give you a sense of safety and belonging. Having friends from all over the world has its perks; a shared interest in travel, developing cultural awareness and visiting each other abroad! You can check out Student Travel Tips’ Year Abroad Connect resources to meet other people in the same boat.
In a new environment, you can network with like-minded people your age alongside the experts in the field you are interested in at a brand new location. University events can allow you to talk to lecturers and gain insight into the employment opportunities abroad. Regardless of this, creating global connections can be hugely beneficial in future employment. You never know when you might bump into someone you’ve met before once you’re in the world of work.
6. Opportunities to work abroad
This comes with the previous top tip. The more you network, the more links you have with those who can provide you with work in the future. Similarly, when applying for jobs, employers can look favourably at the courage you showed by moving to another country. If you hope to apply for jobs abroad in the future, the experience of living abroad already is likely to aid your application. Studying abroad can also open up avenues for work experience, either in your field of interest or just for some extra pocket money. Whether you work in the local university shop or the laboratory of your dreams, having the initiative and time management to work alongside your studies will be favourable on your CV.
7. Real-world perspective
Whether moving to new surroundings, starting a new job or meeting new people, you’re bound to go out of your comfort zone. Studying abroad is a great way to ease the transition into your independent life. It can kickstart your experience of adult life admin such as budgeting, time management and general life organisation. Moving out is inevitable, so having a practice round can only be a good thing!
Every country is unique and cultural differences are inevitable. From how to eat to how to greet, learning cultural traditions helps expand your understanding and appreciation of the world. Cultural expectations may vary across the year or even during day-to-day life. You may experience some culture shock, but check out this blog for some tips to make it a bit easier.
If your degree includes a language, studying in a foreign country is a no-brainer. The more you surround yourself with those speaking your second language, the better you’ll become. Similarly, the lectures will likely be in the language you want to develop, increasing your word bank and use of the language itself. Even if language is not part of your studies, moving to a new country with a different language could allow you to learn.
Studying abroad has all the perks of university life but in a new country. Alongside the people you meet, you will make memories in the kitchen in your residence, at your new favourite local bar or on a staycation at a nearby destination. The fun to be had exploring a new place with new people is endless. You will have the best time and you won’t regret making the jump!