Are you fascinated by other cultures? Are you interested in learning a new language? If you answer yes to any of these questions, then you have probably considered studying abroad for a semester or a summer during your college career, but deciding to travel to a different country for an extended stay and break out of your comfort zone is not an easy decision to make. For those of you who are hesitant or unsure about studying abroad and have not yet decided it if will be worth your time and money, we give you 5 excellent reasons why you should definitely do it:
See the world and learn about new cultures.
Have you ever wonder how the Great Wall of China looks from up close? Or have you ever wanted to take a picture under the Eiffel Tower? The world is full of fascinating and different places that are worth visiting and you can expand your knowledge of it by actually being there. Studying abroad while in college will give you a perfect time to travel and experience other cultures, while studying and living in another cultural context. How will this be different from going on a short vacation somewhere? Studying abroad will be different because you will be giving a chance to experience a new culture from a non-tourist perspective. You will be assimilated into a culture other than your own and by doing this you will start to see the world from a different perspective. It will be a life-changing experience!
Learn a language in a country where it is spoken.
Have you ever wanted to become fluent in French or Spanish? What better way to do it than by studying in Paris for a semester or staying in Mexico City for a summer? Study abroad is the best possible way to learn a language. There is no better and more effective way to learn Spanish, Portuguese or French than to be immersed in a culture that speaks those languages. If you are learning a new language and you want to become fluent, then studying abroad in a country that speaks that language is must! You will be surrounded by the language on a daily basis and will be seeing and hearing it in the proper cultural context. Just wait and see and you will be speaking the language like a native in no time!
Develop personal connections with new people and gain new insights through new friendships.
One of the most critical parts of the study abroad experience is the relationships you will develop. While abroad, you will meet many different people and there is a chance that they will become some of the deepest friendships you will cultivate. You will have the opportunity to get to know people from different backgrounds and cultures, and even though this may seem scary at first you will discover that despite these differences you can have much in common and learn from one another. You will have the opportunity to network with students, teachers, host families and even professionals in different parts of the world.
Overcome your own stereotypes about other places and people.
Being immersed only in one country usually gives us a limited view of our world. Traveling outside your country and breaking out of your comfort zone will show you how the U.S fits into the rest of the world and how the country is perceived in different places. From this point on, you will see your own culture through the lens of someone different than you and in doing this you will be overcoming any stereotypes that you may once have had about different countries. Being exposed to so many diverse traditions and different beliefs will help you understand the significance of tolerance and diversity and the importance of being open-minded. By talking to and getting to know different people, you can overcome and dismiss any prejudices you might have had earlier, especially when it comes to stereotypical attitudes about certain ethnicities, countries and religions.
Enhance your own employment opportunities.
International exposure and experience abroad is a critical and impressive part of any resume. Not only will you undergo personal growth, but you will develop cross-cultural skills that will help expand any employment opportunities in the future. Globally-exposed employees are in high demand and few students in American colleges and universities actually study abroad. Nowadays, the world is more inter-connected than ever and many companies look for individuals with multi-lingual and multi-cultural skills. In addition to studying abroad, students can also take advantage of internships while they are living in other countries which will make them even more valuable to employers. So what better way to build up your resume than travelling to another country and immersing yourself in a different culture?
There are countless other reasons why everyone should study abroad. These are just a few of them. Choose your destination, Australia, South America, Asia, and Europe are all popular locations. So do not hesitate anymore. Be confident that this once in a lifetime opportunity will be one of the most rewarding experiences you will ever have! So what are you waiting for? Take control of your future now!